Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Thursday July 2 2009
Blackpool's squad reported yesterday for the first day of pre-season training, and for many players, it was their first chance to meet new Pool supremo Ian Holloway.
It was also new signing Billy Clarke's first opportunity to meet his new team mates, and by all accounts the young Irishman seemed to settle in quickly. No doubt Clarke's confidence will have been boosted by being handed the number seven shirt for next season.
Meanwhile, Ben Burgess has been allocated the number nine shirt, Brett Ormerod #10 and Shaun Barker number five... although Barker is widely expected to leave the club this summer, with Ian Holloway confirming yesterday that he has told Nottingham Forest a value that we will accept for the defender. As of yet though, Forest are yet to return with a fresh bid.
Billy Clarke was not the only new face at training yesterday though: he was joined by midfielder Richard Langley.
Langley, who played under Holloway at QPR, is joining the Seasiders for pre-season in a bid to get fit rather than being on a trail - although Ollie has admitted that if Langley impresses then he may be offered a deal.
'He's not on trial, he is training with us,' said the boss. 'We have a friendship and a working relationship that goes back years.
'Richard has had a very tough time over the last two or three years and I've promised him a chance no-one else is going to get to train with my lads.
'Now, if he looks anything like the Richard Langley of old, then I need a midfield player and it might suit both of us.
'But I would not leave a companion of mine who worked so hard for me in the past out on a limb.
'I'm using my position at Blackpool to help a friend and see if I can get him fit enough for someone to give him a job.'
It is believed that there was an actual trialist at training yesterday, but as of yet no name has been put to him.
However, shifting focus to the current squad, Holloway stated his delight at finally getting to meet his new players.
Holloway says he did so much talking that the players required 'ice-packs on their ears'.
'I think I was so excited and talking too much. They've all gone home with a headache.
'It is great because it had been frustrating waiting for the players to come back.
'The minute I got the job I probably should have called in the ones who weren't on holiday because I've had so much I wanted to say to them. Bang, they had it all yesterday.'
The boss added: 'I do certain things a little bit differently. I asked them all to write down one or two things about discipline. For example, how much should people be fined if they do things I don't like, like being late - I can't stand that. The only thing I want to be late for is my funeral.
'I've asked them to go away and think about my rules, and hopefully they will agree that they are fair.
'I've asked for some input but some of the things they wrote down are ridiculous. But that's what footballers are like - they want to change the sky tangerine but I can't do that.
'I will try to do what I can to show we are all in it together and it is brilliant to be back.
'The weather is very hot, so we've got to be careful but it went very well for a first day.'
Skipper Rob Edwards said: 'It was really interesting to hear what he wants. It will be different to what we are used to. It is always good to work with new people.'
Date:Thursday July 2 2009
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