Writer: Neil Egerton
Date:Wednesday July 18 2012
Aidy Boothroyd has made some shrewd signings for the Cobblers during his overhaul of the playing squad and by his own admission he has been lucky with being able to sign all of his first choices to date. ADB has cast his net high and wide with his search for a new centre back, a search that has included flirtation with Mark Ellis, Mark Arber, Guy Branston and a mystery Scottish player from a League 1 club. While the proposed deal for the player from League 1 is complicated and has rumbled on for a while there is some suggestion that it will now be effected by a u-turn from Clarke Carlisle. Carlisle is a player who Boothroyd will be the first to admit would be his ideal signing for the centre back position as it would fill a void left by the very same player at the end of last season, not only is he a solid centre back with copious amounts of experience but he brings so much more to the club. Well respected by his fellow professionals and universally liked by all fans his capture could help round of an excellent recruitment campaign by the town boss. Carlisle would take up the captains armband at Cobblers as he did during his loan spell last season and he would again provide ADB with the perfect link between himself and the players, while the assistant manager has the job of being the link man it is imperative the captain does a similar role, something than comes naturally to Clarke Carlisle.
There have been some rogue reports that Carlisle has agreed a two year deal with Cobblers but it won't be announced for at least another week, while these reports are wide of the mark but there is no question the club and player are back in discussions. This is something of a surprise after Carlisle seemingly said his goodbyes to the Cobblers faithful on social network site Twitter a few weeks ago and there were strong rumours that the player had firm interest from Sheffield United and Wednesday along with Nottingham Forest. For Clarke to sign for any club there are numerous influences outside of football that have to be taken into account, rightly his family would have a huge bearing on where he signs as they are all based up north which would seemingly count against Northampton. On the flip side he is already embarking on a career in the media in preparation for life when he hangs his boots up, meaning a lot of his time is spent in London. As all local residents of Northampton will understand, the access to London from Northampton is fantastic and also the access to the north from Northampton is superb. Perhaps this is part of the reasoning behind the u-turn from Carlisle, maybe it has had nothing to do with it, only the man himself could give us the reasons behind a change of heart.
As a supporter of the club I hope we can capture the signature of Clarke Carlisle as I think he would be perfect for the club and he wouldn't require a bedding in period having previously played for the club. There is a long way to go in this saga and it is by no means close to conclusion and I fully expect there to be more twists and turns than a helter skelter. The biggest obstacle he will have to overcome will be winning the players over after missing out on the intense fitness camp held in Croatia.
So while we should be pleased that there is still a possibility the deal could be on, we should perhaps temper enthusiasm and expectations as nothing is signed and there is an awful long way to go before any paperwork is signed. One thing is for sure though Aidy Boothroyd believes there is a good chance :
Boothroyd told BBC Radio Northampton: 'I think there is a chance [of him signing towards the end of pre-season].
Date:Wednesday July 18 2012
Stats: Bradford v Northampton (Saturday May 18 2013)
Promotion Dream Ended (Saturday May 18 2013)
Fully Fit! (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Expecting Interest (Saturday May 11 2013)
Completion Of Another Achievement (Friday May 10 2013)
Focusing On The Job Needing Doing (Friday May 10 2013)
Keeper Hopes For A Wembley Double (Wednesday May 8 2013)
Praise For Defensive Duo (Tuesday May 7 2013)
Rated Alongside England International (Tuesday May 7 2013)
Northampton Secure Wembley Spot (Tuesday May 7 2013)
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