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Story posted: Monday, 9th October 2000

Shepshed in for Tucker
Simon Tucker

Simon Tucker

Shepshed Dynamo are on the trail of Gresley Rovers striker Simon Tucker - but boss Brian Kenning is confident of hanging onto his 19-year-old hotshot as his long wait to find a striker who knows where the net is may have been rewarded big time.
The Gresley Rovers chief sat and squirmed as his side turned in a string of technically impressive displays to start the campaign only to fall down through lack of goals. With frontrunners Dave King and Neil Kitching sidelined by long-term injuries, the Moat boss was left with few options until word reached his ear of a highly rated youngster newly moved to the area from Cumbria to study at Loughborough University.

Simon Tucker was duly recruited and has scored six goals in five games for the Moatmen - three of which came against Shepshed in Rovers' 3-1 Moat Ground victory last Saturday.

The goals certainly put a smile on the face of the new boy who declared: "I'm happy with that, and as long as the chances keep coming I'll stay happy."

Tucker could have made the break into the pro game during the summer when, after finishing top scorer with Carlisle-based outfit North Bank in the Northern Alliance, he was called up by habitual Division Three escapologists Carlisle United, playing in two pre-season games and scoring once.

Unibond Premier club Barrow then showed an interest with Tucker obliging them with the winning goal in a 1-0 defeat of Workington Town.

But a course in retail management at Loughborough proved a greater draw with Tucker deciding to continue his soccer learning curve at Gresley.

The move delighted Kenning who feels he may have a real prospect on his hands. Said the Moat supremo: "You can see he's got a bit of a brain and tries to work things out before he does them. He's still learning but you can see that maybe when it all comes together he could be a hell of a player."

The burning question, of course, is how long will Rovers be able to hang onto Tucker if he keeps rattling the goals.

That makes Rovers chairman Mark Evans' mission to end the FA embargo on placing players on contract, imposed two years ago after the club failed to meet pay obligations a year before that, all the more urgent.

Shepshed have put in seven days' notice but Kenning said: "I spoke to him last night and unless someone comes in with an astronomical offer he won't go. If someone does come in with such an offer he would be a mug to turn it down. Clubs are always interested in players who score goals but Simon is learning the game, is studying at Loughborough and is happy here."

Kenning is hoping Tucker continues his goal scoring heroics at Tiverton Town tomorrow (3pm).
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
1 Morpeth Town 11 17 26
2 Marske United 11 7 19
3 Brighouse Town 12 6 19
4 Gresley 12 -6 19
5 Ossett United 11 7 18
6 Pontefract Collieries 11 4 18
7 Lincoln United 12 3 18
8 Stamford AFC 11 5 17
9 Tadcaster Albion 11 2 16
10 Belper Town 11 -1 16
11 Frickley Athletic 10 -5 15

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