The Lowdown #4 - DENE CROPPER

Last updated : 31 July 2002 By
Dene Cropper

Vital Statistics

D.O.B - 05/01/1983 (19 years of age)
Position - Attacker
Height - 6ft 2in
Signed for Imps - 10/05/2002

Career So Far

Joined Sheffield Wednesday as a trainee.
Left Hillsborough - after a lack of reserve team opportunities - for Worksop
His loan stint at the non-leaguers was a good experience for Cropper, as he
netted 8 goals in 14 games.

Fans Judgement

From: Adie Richards, Worksop Town Supporter's Club chairman
To: Planet Imp
Re: Dene Cropper

He was with us for 2 or 3 spells and came with a recommendation from Chris
Waddle. Always gave his best and became a firm favourite. Sadly his form for
his final session with us had dropped but he had suffered (allegedly)
problems with other clubs and Wednesday which affected his form. He will
always be remembered by Tigers fans who travelled to Bournemouth for the F.A
Cup for his kissing of the badge on his shirt, and the fact that he left
the pitch in tears as he thought (as we all did at the time) that he had
just played his last game for us.

From: Steve Emmerson, Worksop Town supporter
To: Planet Imp
Re: Dene Cropper

Dene's a fine player and most important a League player (not non-league) -
good in the air, quick feet, excellent football brain and most important, an
eye for goal. He can score headers, long-range shots or the most common for
him poaching around the box, but he is a great team player also.

The problem we had last year was he started with us scoring 8 or 9 goals,
then Sheff. Wednesday, in their wisdom, kept calling him back for Reserve
games or for training. My good mate follows the Owls and he never missed a
Home reserve fixture and he only saw Cropper start 3 times and come on as a
sub twice. I don't think he faired much better with away games either. They
messed him about, letting him return for our F.A Cup ties as they had let
him play for us in a qualifying round, thus cup-tieing him to us (great for
us). Then he had trials at a Bristol club for a week, then to Oldham for a
fortnight. The lad was messed around and was probably disillusioned by what
the Owls were on with. He came back to us at the end, but he'd had all the
confidence drained from him (and I suspect carrying an injury) still he
played OJ and still popped up with a couple of goals.

Tigers did bid around 10k for him (I think), but Dene is a League Footballer
and a great lad who just got messed about. I hope he has a great season for
you, he is far better than Non-League and probably some League players so
get behind him and he'll take you to his heart as I'm sure you will take him
to your hearts.

From: Paul Stacey, Worksop Town supporter
To: Planet Imp
Re: Dene Cropper

Dene came to us, initially, three or four games into the season and he
totally transformed our forward line helping to spread confidence throughout
the team. He scored something like 10 goals in 20 games during his loan
spell. Without him we would not have reached the first round of the F.A Cup,
where I thought he was one of the few Worksop players to come out of the
game against Bournemouth with their reputation enhanced. That was his last
game for us in that spell. One fact that is often overlooked is that during
that spell, we had a very unsettled team. To give you an idea, for our first
17 games, we had 17 different starting line-ups! Thus, the fact that he
settled in so well was to his credit.

He led the line well, had power and pace (for the Unibond League) and was
not afraid to take players on.

In his second spell with us, at the end of the season, he barely merited a
place in the side. However, there are factors to consider here. At the end
of the season, we were playing like a team going through the motions, (in
fact we had that end of season feel from about January!). Dene was also
playing a game for us, then would miss 2 or 3 games as he would have gone on
trial somewhere - not ideal. I don't know what happened at Wednesday (where
we took him on loan from), but I heard he was treated badly. He also did not
look fit to me. I would imagine he was trying to save his best performances
for when he was on trial at these various clubs.

I actually took Dene to one of our away games during that time, and I have
to say, I thought he felt a little bit down. I believe he had been offered a
contract at Hull, the Brian Little left, then Bristol Rovers offered him a
contract and Thompson left! In both cases, the offers disappeared as the
managers were sacked. He was a young lad who could see his dream of being a
professional footballer disappearing. All of these factors would have had an
affect on him, for sure.

Like most fans, we want to remember Dene for his first spell, when we saw
the true Dene. He loved his time at Worksop and would have joined for next
season if he had not joined a League club.

I honestly do not know whether Dene will be good enough for the Third
Division, (I hope he is, and hope he can go higher). He is certainly good
enough for the Conference. He has time on his side and with the right
coaching, I'm sure he will make it. One thing that does need to be worked on
is how he jumps - he often leads with his elbow. It is not malicious and he
does not intend to catch opposing defenders, but it could get him into

I really do wish Dene well and he will always be welcome back at Worksop.

Oh, and by the way, make sure he knows where you are due to be playing. We
played Gainsborough Trinity in the F.A Cup; at about 2.15-2.30 he rang to
ask where everyone was - he was at the Northolme rather than at Worksop! He
thought it was an away game, rather than a home game! Having said that, he
arrived at Worksop at about 2.55, then almost single-handedly took
Gainsborough apart, scoring one creating three others. 'Boro were terrified
of him!