Player profiles: Tom Newey

Cod Almighty | Article

by Pat Bell

28 July 2006

What can be said about Tom Newey that hasn't been said before? Well, just about anything, as he remains something of a blank. No-one hates him, although a few people mildly resent him for keeping Crofty out of the side, and no-one loves him (as a footballer, I mean; I'm sure his emotional life is as full as anyone else's), although a few people vaguely appreciate him for not being Ronnie Bull. He is still young, turning 24 in October, but not a product of our youth team so no-one is particularly rooting for him. Occasionally, people wonder why he takes all our free kicks and corners, until someone else does. It's not that he takes them spectacularly well; it's just that he does them a lot better than anyone else available.

Newey (rumours that he is victim of a particularly virulent strain of Footballers Nickname Syndrome and that he was once plain New remain unconfirmed) was a Leeds United youth player, spending time on loan at Cambridge and Darlington before joining Leyton Orient. He made 34 appearances for the Os before returning to Cambridge, at first on loan and then on a free transfer in 2005. With Cambridge relegated to the Conference, he was recruited to the cause by Russell Slade for the start of the 2005–06 season, converted from the left wing to full-back, and made 37 appearances, scoring once. Statistics don't tell the tale, but perhaps the text commentaries on Mariners matches do: 

"Attacking throw in taken by Tom Newey (Grimsby) resulting in open play... Cross by Tom Newey (Grimsby)… Defending throw in taken by Tom Newey (Grimsby)… Direct free kick taken left footed by Tom Newey…"

Whole minutes can go by with hardly another Town player mentioned. He's a busy chap is Tom, and given that a lot of our threat came from set pieces last season, he must take a fair share of the credit that we reached the play-offs. If Town cut down the weeds that have grown up in those neglected ten-yard strips of grass nearest the touchlines and start to play there, perhaps we'll be in a better position to judge his all-round ability this season.