Thursday, July 04, 2013

Southend Join O'Toole Pursuit

Lifted from:
The local press are claiming that fellow League Two side Southend United are chasing John-Joe O'Toole from Colchester United. Rovers have been embroiled in negotiations with player and club for the past 10 weeks but have yet to make a breakthrough with John Ward claiming there were many 'obstacles' that needed to be overcome. One of those obstacles is the threat of other teams being interested in acquiring his services and Phil Brown's Shrimpers appear to be admirers of the central midfielder.

Southend are widely known for their mis-management and the (annual) winding-up orders issued to them by HMRC. Financially, therefore, Rovers appear the much better prospect given our wage budget but the geographical advantages that the Essex side have over us could be decisive. John-Joe may not have to relocate in order to complete a transfer to the Shrimpers whereas he would if he selected Rovers. From that viewpoint we're up against it.

However, John-Joe has got a feel for Bristol Rovers and knows only too well how fondly he is thought of by everybody at the club. Should he sign for us he would receive a hero's welcome and instantly become the focal point in the starting XI - a role I think he would flourish in. There are no guarantees of similar appreciation if he moved elsewhere though and that may swing the pendulum back in the favour of ourselves. Of course, we're also managed by John Ward, the man who handed him a new contract with Colchester just 12 months ago and clearly gets the best out of him. Maybe that's another reason he should pick Rovers ahead of anyone else.

We're up against it, without doubt, but hopefully his previous loan spell with us will be enough to tempt him back to the West Country for our big push next season. Go on JJ, you know it makes sense.

Elsewhere, former winger Joe Anyinsah has been taken on trial by Mark Yates at Cheltenham Town. He was released at the end of last season after a stop-start 2 years due to his troublesome hamstrings but the Robins have decided to take a closer look at him in training
this week.

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