Signings are like buses, you wait ages for one & then two come along at once! First Andy Todd joined as player-coach earlier today, now he’s followed into Field Mill by 25 year old defender Ritchie Sutton... and after watching the press highlights video, there could well be another addition to the class of 2011-12 as the rebuild continues.
Ritchie joins the stags on a free transfer from Port Vale, for who he played 13 times for during the last campaign, Ritchie is the second dealing Paul Cox has had with Port Vale this close season after bringing in vale reserve team regular Matt Bell earlier this month.
New signing Ritchie signs a one year contract at Field Mill and arrives to boost the defence, capable of playing both centre back & right back – with the latter position being vacant after Gary Silks move to Grimsby.
Ritchie has a wealth of non-league experience, which doesn’t include a spell at Eastwood for those who we’re coming up with premature conclusions! Ritchie’s non-league experience has come at Leek Town, Stafford Rangers, Northwich Victoria, Halifax and Nantwich. He began his career at Crewe & after a spell in the non-league managed to gain some league experience with Port Vale.
If you’re one for weighing up the pro’s & con’s the pretty much balance themselves out – the pro’s? He’s highly rated by a number of league managers & supporters alike, when fit he appears to establish himself and perform at a high level keeping the others out. The con’s he picked up a knee injury back in 2006 & according to a former manager has a poor disciplinary record on the pitch.
I checked out the stats for Ritchie (keen to actually know something about our new players when I’m commentating!) & found that he has 13 yellows & 2 reds too his name, however not all clubs keep records (especially the further down the league ladder you go) & it is said that Sutton received four reds whilst playing for Nantwich in the 2009-10 campaign, missing the first 4 games of the season just gone (after signing for Port Vale) as a consequence. However I can’t find a news story which backs this up, so it may be fiction – if it’s fact: so be it, every player has to learn at some point, Paul Cox wouldn’t have signed him if he thought he’d be putting the stags at the bottom of the fair play league. In fact, what do bookings & sending off tell you – that the players reckless & careless? Or that the players prepared to put a challenge in to win the ball?
Ritchie looks a very promising player to add to our defence & despite his lack of league experience; he ticks all the boxes in what Paul Cox is building & therefore is a welcome addition to the stag’s family.
I await more news & not only look forwards to seeing who signs on the dotted line, but look forward to figuring out which trailist is which & what the new look youth set up is like – more on that next week!
Lee Stevenson (New signing – Eastwood)
Lindon Mikele (New signing – Eastwood)
Paul Bolland (New signing – Macclesfield)
Matt Bell (New signing – Port Vale [Reserves])
Anthony Howell (New signing – Alfreton)
Ross Dyer (New signing – Forest Green Rovers)
Jon Worthington (New Signing – Bradford City)
Micky Moore (Assistant Manager – Joins from Solihull Moors)
Andy Todd (Player Coach)
Ritchie Sutton (New Signing – Port Vale)
FC Halifax Town
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