So sorry for the lack of updates on these pages recently, working for an airline, and the recent volcanic activity has lent itself to some interesting work hours! Im defiantly not cut out for early starts!
Anyway, this is the first of my end of season reviews of the 2009/10 season. Up first are the goalies!
Number 31 - Stephen Fone
I will admit this now, before the season I was a big big fan of Stephen Fone. The admiration really came from the few games Stephen came in to help the Phoenix out when Smurf got injured in the 2008/09 season. Stephen played brilliantly, and seemed to settle into the team really well. So I was delighted the Phoenix had signed him from Coventry to give him his first season as a starting goal keeper. Stephen has a great glove hand and is really quick around the crease. He does tend to leave that crease a little more often than I would like, and over the course of the 2009/10 season the Phoenix would concede a fair few goals due to Foney being out of position. Stephen's season was affected greatly by a dislocated shoulder, suffered away in Swindon (I think) at the beginning of December. This combined with 4 lads going off for GB duty, really de-railed the Phoenix season, and neither Stephen or the Phoenix really regained that early season form. Stephen was not quite the same goalie upon his return, his upper body movement not quite what it was. He was understandably protecting his shoulder. The news that he would go for surgery in the off season would show that for the second half of the season he was not 100% fit.
Such a shame! Despite this, I would have Stephen back as our starter for the 2010/11 season, for a number of reasons! Firstly, with a repaired shoulder Stephen should hit the ground running and hopefully be at peak fitness for the whole season. Secondly, as I said early he seems at home in Manchester, the team loves him and the fans love him. Thirdly, can we afford a better keeper? Stephen is still young, only 23, looking around the league the only keeper's I would swap him for would be Slough's Greg Rockman, or even Guildford's Mark Lee. Both of whom would likely cost more.
Number 30 - Adam Summerfield The young Congletonian had a very good season, despite sitting on the bench for most of it, when called upon during December he really stood up and was counted! He never looked overawed, he played well and consistently and is starting to iron out a few of the mistakes he has made in the past. Adam is defiantly a keeper (pardon the pun) however he is at the stage of his career where he needs more ice time. He is already signed up for the Phoenix EPL squad for 2010/11 so that's next season sorted, but after that, he may well want to be moving into the starting keeper role. So for the 2011/12 season he may well have to drop to the Phoenix ENL side as a started or head elsewhere in the EPL. Even so he is a cracking little keeper, and one the Phoenix fans love!
Up next will be the defensive corps of the Phoenix!
If any of you out there have any pictures of the Phoenix players that I could use for each review, I would be very grateful!
Roll on September!