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Story posted: Thursday, 10th February 1994

'Great' day for Blount
Story courtesy of
Mark Blount completed the journey from Church Gresley to the Carling Premiership yesterday afternoon then declared: "It's great to be here."
The 20-year-old from Chaddesden who thought his chances of a full-time soccer career had gone when he was released by Derby County signed for Sheffield United in a 12,500 deal that could reap greater rewards for Rovers if he makes the first team grade.

Said Blount: "Dave Bassett has given me an 18-month contract now I've got to start building my professional career again. It's a very good set up, and Mr Bassett has impressed me he's a really nice bloke."

But the youngster, who spent three years at the Baseball Ground without making the first team squad, admitted: "There are a lot of things I'll miss about Gresley above all the friendly atmosphere of the place. At Rovers I was playing at a good standard and it's been a good shop window for me. I was always hoping to get back into the full time game but I didn't think it would really happen."

The Blades first showed an interest in Blount when he was invited to play at reserve team level at Bramall Lane last month. After that negotiations between the two clubs were conducted in the strictest secrecy with a threat of the deal collapsing if word got out.

Responsibility for negotiations was handled by manager Steve Dolby to commercial director Frank McArdle and secretary Neil Betteridge.

Said McArdle: "It's taken us two weeks to sort out her details but we learned more about dealing with professional clubs in three or four minutes than we had in years of coming through the non-league pyramid. We're all very satisfied. It's a very good deal for the club and for Mark. It proves that Gresley will not stand in a player's way and there's nothing to be frightened of about signing a contract with Gresley Rovers.

McArdle paid tribute to the parts played by Dolby and assistant manager Malc Campion, saying: "It's a day that Church Gresley, the club and Steve and Malc can rightly be proud."

The deal breaks Rovers previous transfer record set in 1985 when Phil Gee was sold to Derby County in a 5,000 deal.
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
10 Highgate United 29 -3 38
11 South Normanton Athletic 26 0 37
12 Worcester City 26 11 36
13 AFC Wulfunians 31 -6 36
14 Coventry Sphinx 25 -19 34
15 Tividale 23 -4 27
16 Haughmond 29 -29 26
17 Racing Club Warwick 24 -29 24
18 Lye Town 28 -31 18
19 Gresley 26 -22 16
20 Selston 25 -38 13

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