With new signings and players performing exceptionally, I think it’s fair to say that 2018 has started with a bang for the Skillequal family! January is a notoriously busy month for us, so here’s a snippet of what’s been happening…
Starting with our born goalscorer Joe Pigott, who has had a frantic January. Following his prolific record for Maidstone United this season, many clubs were interested in the striker, with League One’s AFC Wimbledon landing his signature. Within a week, the 24-year-old was celebrating a debut goal for the club in their 2-0 win over Blackpool. We are immensely proud of Joe’s return to the the Football League.
Another player that has been in red-hot form this season is Jack Marriott. At the end of January he had already notched 24 goals this term for Peterborough United, including a brace in the FA Cup victory at Aston Villa. Jack had to deal with a lot of transfer speculation but, as always, he kept working hard, with the main aim to gain promotion to the Championship with Posh.
Alongside the hectic footballing schedule we also had some Birthdays to celebrate. Ben Chapman celebrated his at the turn of the year, followed by Lukasz Beiger, Karol Smajdor, Marcel Jurek and Tommie Hobarn. Happy Birthday lads!
In the dugout, Nathan Jones penned a new four-year contract with Luton Town as his season goes from strength to strength. It seems like the perfect match with the Welshman guiding his side eight points clear at the top of League Two. Just a few more consistent months and promotion will be secured.
Moving up the ladder, and it was a good month for Mr West Ham himself, Mark Noble. The skipper was a regular in a Hammers side which went unbeaten in the top flight, picking up vital wins against West Brom and Huddersfield Town. Adding to this, Mark scored two goals, taking his tally to 50 for the Irons, as well as securing his 300th Premier League appearance. An amazing achievement from a great professional.
— MARK NOBLE (@Noble16Mark) January 30, 2018
From one top role model to another, it was fantastic to see Michael Carrick return from injury for Manchester United. The midfield maestro played 90 minutes in the 4-0 victory at Yeovil in the FA Cup. Michael looked as comfortable on the ball as ever, and hopefully we will see him get more game time between now and the end of the season.
With the transfer window open throughout January, it’s of course a very busy time here at Skillequal with deals taking place. Thankfully we managed to make additions of our own with some exciting young talent coming on board. Myles and Harrison Shona – both of Aston Villa U16s – and another young Villan in Tyreik Wright have joined the family. We look forward to helping them in their careers.
As well as signing up our own talent, some of our players were involved January moves. Sam Dalby made the switch from Leyton Orient to Leeds United, while young Flynn Downes has gone on loan to Luton Town from Ipswich Town. Dan Holman has also joined Orient on loan from Cheltenham, and Lewis Kinsella has made the move to Aldershot Town until the end of the season. We wish the lads well.
A player who is not accustomed to moving is Wycombe Wanderers stalwart Matt Bloomfield who played his 400th Football League game for The Chairboys. The midfielder also scored in that New Year’s Day victory over Forest Green Rovers to get the team off to a good start in 2018. Gareth Ainsworth’s side finished the month in the League Two promotion places.
Rounding off the January’s highlights are two young players who are showing a lot of promise. Chris Smith made the bench for Ipswich Town’s first-team, while Andre Green is back amongst the goals following injury, scoring for Aston Villa’s U23s.
After yet another extremely successful month, February will allow the Skillequal family to fully focus on football in what is no doubt going to be a crucial period in the 2017/18 season.