Despite the simply horrible weather, Spring has arrived and with that the crunch end of the football season. February and March has been actioned-packed for the Skillequal family, here’s some of our highlights…
There’s no better place to start than the announcement of two new players. We welcome Scunthorpe United’s Adam Kelsey and Polish youngster Marcel Zurek from Akademia Piłkarska Zagłębie Lubin. We’re delighted to acquire them and are excited about guiding them through their careers.
From our newest recruits to one of our most loyal clients, Mark Noble. We’re delighted to have extended our working relationship with the West Ham United captain. It’s been a pleasure to have been so close to Mark throughout his career and we look forward to continuing what’s been a fantastic partnership.
Moving on to matters on the pitch, a special mention has to go to Brighton & Hove Albion’s Lewis Dunk, who has been fantastic the past couple of months. The Seagulls have beaten West Ham, Swansea and Arsenal to move them to the brink of Premier League survival in their first season! Lewis has been a rock at the back all campaign and managed to score his first top-flight goal in the memorable 2-1 victory over the Gunners.
Staying with the theme of centre backs, it hasn’t been a bad eight weeks for Portsmouth’s Matt Clarke. Matt has now made over 100 appearances for Pompey since joining in 2015 – not bad for a 21 year-old! His impressive performances – which have put his side firmly in contention for the play offs – have earned him a new deal at Fratton Park running to 2020.
With the World Cup in Russia on the horizon, focus turned to the international break in March. A special mention has to go to Nick Pope, who was deservedly called up to the England senior squad for the friendlies against Netherlands and Italy. Nick has been on an amazing journey from non-league, right through to the top of the game. His performances in goal for Burnley have been there for all to see, so it was fantastic to see him make the step-up to the Three Lions set-up.
Staying with England, and Aston Villa forward Keinan Davis was selected for the U20s. It’s fantastic to see Keinan’s hard work being rewarded with international recognition, which was justified as he notched the winner against Poland and another goal in the 3-0 win over Portugal.
Flynn Downes was again called up to the England U19s squad. Flynn has played his football on loan at League Two promotion chasers Luton Town and continued his good form by featuring in the Young Lions’ victories over Hungary and Latvia.
The Skillequal family had further success during the international break with new recruit Tyreik Wright enjoying a great week with Republic of Ireland U17s. The forward scored his second goal for his country in the win against Macedonia, and played in victories over Georgia and Poland as they clinched top spot in Euro Championship Elite Group 3. Congrats Tyreik!
It has also been quite a memorable couple of months for Michael Carrick with the midfielder officially announcing he will be hanging up his boots at the end of the season. It almost goes without saying what a pleasure it has been working with Michael throughout his career. He’s had an incredible career and we know he’ll be just as a successful as a coach, which he had his first taste of during the Red Devils’ 2-0 win over Swansea in March.
Slightly different experience for me today, one I certainly enjoyed. It’s all part of the learning process. More importantly it was the 3 points we wanted ⚽⚽?⚫ pic.twitter.com/aWwVoTHzKe
— Michael Carrick (@carras16) March 31, 2018
Peterborough United’s Jack Marriott kept up his hot goalscoring form in February and March, taking his tally up to 30 goals for the season! Jack’s form doesn’t seem to have dipped all season, and Posh fans will be hoping his goals will fire them to a League One play-off spot come May.
Hopping across to the continent, we are very proud of our Polish players who are all performing very well. Once again there’s too many to mention, but a special note to Bartek Wdowik for his hat-trick for Ruch Chorzow S.A. and also to Jan Biegnaski for securing a three-year deal at Górniczy Klub Sportowy Tychy.
A big part of our job here is negotiating contracts for our players and making sure they are where they want and deserve to be. We were delighted to help secure a new three-year deal for Andre Green at Aston Villa. Andre is making great strides at Villa Park and the club is the perfect fit for his development.
We don’t want to do a ‘Man Cityesque’ Yaya Toure blunder, so we will finish by wishing Chris Smith, Kapper Mancsy, Myles Judd, Matt Bloomfield, Keinan Davies and Aron Pollock a very Happy Birthday!
There’s been many more highlights we could have mentioned in what’s been a great period for our players and we’re sure there will be more successes to broadcast over what is now the crunch end of the season.