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Story posted: Tuesday, 15th June 2004

Hood & Bluck sign
Jamie Hood

Jamie Hood

Gresley Rovers have been given a double boost with the news that defenders Jamie Hood and Ian Bluck have agreed new deals to remain at the club for the new season.
The latest deals follow hot on the heels of Matt Smith and Carl Slater committing their future to the Moat and the signing of Ex Telford Striker Justin Rowe.

20 year old centre half Hood was being tracked by Conference North outfit Nuneaton Borough and indeed played for them in a recent trial game. It's thought that they were keen to take another look at him but he has committed himself to Rovers for the new campaign in the Unibond Division 1.

Gary Norton commented "I'm delighted that Jamie has agreed a new deal with us, it has taken a while to sort out, but it is important that a player feels right about things. We knew other clubs were interested in signing him and we started talks with him towards the end of last season. He will without doubt play at a higher level in the near future but we both agree that another season at this level will do him the world of good as a player. He still has things to learn about the game and I'm delighted that he will be doing that learning in a Rovers shirt this season".

Hood initially joined Rovers from Bedworth United in December last year and quickly established himself as 1st choice centre half for the Moat men. He finished the season winning the Burton Mail 'Man of the Match' award.

Ian BluckFull Back, Ian Bluck who missed out on most of last season after picking up a serious knee injury against Buxton in the FA Cup on August 30th has also agreed a new deal. He battled back from injury and returned to the side for the last 4 games of the season. Norton said "Ian showed a tremendous amount of courage to come back from two serious injuries in recent years and his determination to make it back to this level has impressed everyone at the club. He has great heart and that is something we are going to need a lot of in this coming season. Other clubs were interested in signing Ian but he made it clear from the outset that he wanted to stay. He's a decent full back but can also operate at Centre Half and Central Midfield so he gives us that bit of versatility as well."

Chairman Mark Evans added he was delighted that both Jamie and Ian had agreed to stay at the Moat Ground, "Jamie really impressed last season, and I am pleased that he has chosen to stay with us". With regard to Ian Bluck, he added that "when you get several premier Clubs asking you during the AGM of the Southern League about Ian, you know you have someone that others want, having Ian in your team is a massive advantage, he has now played for Gresley under Kenning, McGinlay, Newsome and now Gary, every season he receives offers from other clubs and to date has chosen to remain at the Moat its fantastic".

Rovers meanwhile have pulled out of the chase to sign Stourport Swift's striker Richard Ball. The front-runner scored 23 goals last season in a struggling side and as a result attracted a lot of interest from other clubs. He has been in talks with Gary Norton and had expressed an interest in joining the Moat men but it seems a deal is unlikely.

Norton added "We are looking for another goal scorer to add to the squad and Richard certainly fitted the bill. I've spoken to him twice but unfortunately we will not be pursuing with our interest. He is just out of contract but Stourport want a biggish fee due to the Bosman ruling. That combined with Richards wage requirements means that it's unrealistic for us to pursue our interest. We will have to continue our search for another Striker elsewhere."

Mark Evans
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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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