Buckley Moving Imps Forward With Signing

Last updated : 24 March 2002 By Jonny Hall

The 23 year old centre back went straight into the squad to face Plymouth Argyle but played no part in the game due to Paul Morgan's speedy recovery from his niggling shin splints problem. However, the signs are there that manager Alan Buckley is seeking to prolong Bloomer's stay with the Imps.

Already a keen admirer of Bloomer, the Imps boss has allocated Matthew the number 8 shirt, vacated by John Finnigan. This may be a sign that the player is a part of Buckley's plans.

A further stipulation is that a clause has been included in Bloomer's contract which prevents him from returning to Boothferry Park when the Imps meet the Tigers' in an end of season clash.

Buckley and Bloomer originally met up at Grimsby Town, where Buckley had high hopes that Bloomer would flourish into a quality defender. Bloomer failed to make the grade making only 15 appearances, despite being considered as a useful squad player, and so moved to Hull City on a free transfer in the summer of 2001.

Failing to secure a spot in the Tigers' first eleven this season, due to a great deal of competition in the ranks, Bloomer could find himself making a similar move to the one he made last summer. If so, Buckley and Bloomer could then make up lost time.

The possibility of keeping both Grant Brown and Steve Holmes at the club in the summer is a crunch decision the board will reluctantly have to make. The financial situation again comes into effect, consequently sealing their fate. The injury that Steve Holmes picked up earlier in the season could cruelly signal a departure from the club at the season's end. The same could be said about Jason Barnett – who is in a race against time to convince Buckley and the club that he is worthy of a renewed contract.

This leaves Paul Morgan, Grant Brown, Paul Mayo, Mark Camm, Mark Bailey and Stuart Bimson and so the versatility of Matthew Bloomer (6ft 1in) will come in handy. The former Mariner can play anywhere along the back line, but shows a preference for the centre back position, undoubtedly making him a useful addition to the squad.

Finance permitting as always, Buckley may have his man by the end of the season, but maybe the board have already budgeted for such an event.