Date: 10th July 2017 at 12:48pm
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With the first ‘open’ pre-season friendly fast approaching, I for one cannot wait to see the Alex back in action – especially considering the fact it’s after manager Dave Artell’s first summer in the job. Artell seems like a breath of fresh air after the false promises in the transfer windows under Steve Davis; he talks about what he wants and seems like he’s able to get it – it appears to me as if he has more financial support from the board than Davis did, and given Steve’s transfer record I could believe that to be true. The breath of fresh air I was talking about, generally is referring to the more positive vibes the club are emitting this transfer window – such as, the topic of this article, new signings. We have made 5 good quality signings, which I am going to talk through in this article; those signings are Jordan Bowery, Chris Porter, Michael Raynes, Eddie Nolan and Brad Walker – all of which I am looking forward to seeing play.

Jordan Bowery:
Jordan is the best, low scoring, striker I’ve ever seen at Gresty Road. That doesn’t make him sound like a player you’d want, but if you seen him play you’d understand why you’d want him. He is a passionate and hard working team player, who looks as if he’d sooner set others up than score himself. He isn’t scared of making a run out wide in order to link the play, and he gelled with Cooper and Daggers (Chris Dagnall) exceptionally well. However he did force Dagnall to start on the wing, a position which he can cope with but I feel is less effective in. Jordan though, who we had on loan last season, is a useful team player (with good levels of lower league experience).

Chris Porter:
Ports, as I believe he likes to be known, was Colchester United’s captain, and top goal scorer from the last campaign. Now 33 years old, Porter’s transfer seemed as if he wanted a club closer to his home. He also was keen to make it clear his ambition at Crewe was promotion, and I believe he turned down Port Vale due to Crewe appearing the more ambitious outlet of the two. Though his age may be against him, he has shown he can do it in this league (finishing as the top scorer at Colchester). So in Ports we have an a ambitious, experienced and effective striker – which will help the young side to a great extent.

Michael Raynes:
Raynes is the signing I know least about, but what I do know makes him seem like a terrific addition. He is a tall centre half, who was Carlisle United’s captain, who many fans of Carlisle described as ‘tremendous in the air’. The main criticism of him by Carlisle fans is his pace (or distinct lack of it), which can prove costly as a centre half – however Ray isn’t the slowest and if they can work out a system and communicate well in matches, then that may not be an issue for Michael.

Eddie Nolan:
The man from Ireland is a relatively young (28) but experienced defender, who has played all over the back four during his time as a professional – predominantly at Preston and Scunthorpe. He hasn’t had much game time however over the last few years, the reason behind that I’m unsure of but think is injury, and therefore I believe the reason we’ve signed him is mainly as cover – and with my hand on my heart I appreciated we’re getting that, with us playing a central midfielder in the centre back role at the tail end of last season.

Brad Walker:
At just 21 years of age, Walker is the youngest of the signings – but one I am most looking forward to seeing play for The Railwaymen. He was a massively rated youngster, deemed by many the next big thing at one stage. He towers at 6’1 and can play defensive midfielder or centre half, which is good as midfield and defence were the positions we looked weakest in and lacked squad depth in – Walker appears to be almost 2 for 1 with regards to his position. He has accumulated 107 league appearances at ‘The Monkey Hangers’ so is a fairly experienced player in his own right as well. Also with him being young, I believe his best is yet to come so I am very much looking forward to see him develop as a player at Gresty Road – hopefully he can kick on from the League Two Apprentice of the Year Award he won in 2014, seeing off competition from Jack Whatmough and Ben Purrington.