Deadline Day is a commeth

With deadline day approaching (tomorrow at 5pm to be precise) and Spartans once again plagued by injuries, we take a look some of the players in the area that could be available for a last minute loan, and some players who aren’t currently under contract.

Jack Hannah – CB

A familiar name to some, Jack briefly featured for Darlington in the early part of the season before Josh Gowling bombed him off. A former U18’s captain, Jack has featured 16 times for Middlesbrough’s U21’s this season, scoring a goal and collecting 6 yellow cards – so he sounds perfect for us.

Standing at 6 ft 1, Jack’s canny in the air, works hard and can hoy a tackle in. With only a year on his contract left, Hannah probably needs to go out on loan to prove his worth in senior football – especially with him being 22 later this year.

Nathan Buddle – CB

A player who needs no introduction. Bud’s left Ashington last week after a stop-start season due to injuries, though none of them have been down to any issues with concussions as far as I know. Jon has apparently been after an experienced centre back to bring in alongside Bod’s and Finn, and old slabheed here would fit the bill nicely.

If the club does still have concerns about his injury record, then a non-contract deal until the end of the season isn’t exactly a huge risk. On top of that and most importantly of all Bud’s actually wants to be here, and he’ll no doubt but a shift in for that shirt.

Connor Pye – LB

With Lidz potentially out again, a left back may be needed ASAP – and Sunderland U21 Pye would make a lot of sense. Originally from Morecambe, Connor made the switch to Sunderland last year and was later loaned out to Morpeth, helping them stop up and win the Northumberland Senior Cup.

He’d be perfect playing in a ‘wing back’ role as he’s pacey, has the stamina to match and can hoy a cross in. Looking at his stats for the U21’s, it looks like he’s barely been used this season – so he’s either been injured or out of favour for whatever reason in the last few months. His deal is up with Sunderland in a few weeks, so some senior football somewhere would help put him in the shop window.  

Paddy Almond – CB

Another player who we all know about, Paddy has been playing in the Northern League with Whitley Bay since the autumn having recovered from a well-publicised crash in the summer of 2022, and then suffering a bleed on the brain over 12 months ago playing for Darlington.

Some thought after his last incident that Paddy wouldn’t play football again, but since returning to action late last year – he’s been absolutely solid. Playing in what is a rather physical and out right rough league at times, Paddy has been sublime for Whitley according to a lot of people who’ve seen him play this season. Now former manager Nick Gray said the following about him in January to Mark Carruthers for the Sunderland Echo.

Paddy is better than this level. We are so lucky to have him. He has been through a lot, we’ve left it to him to make decisions on how things play out. He’s a great lad and I just wish him every success going forwards. I think he’ll hopefully go on to great things in his career because it says so much about him that he wants to continue his playing career after what he’s been through.”

A lot of people wouldn’t be doing that. He is with us, he is finding his feet again, getting that confidence back. I think and hope he will be here until the end of the season and then we will see what happens. I just want it to go smoothly for him because he deserves that. He can get back into the National League North at least. He cruises through games, he barely breaks a sweat because he can read the game so well.”

On top of being a brick shithouse, Paddy was always quick and could cover at both RB and LB while at Blyth. It feels like someone is going to take a chance on him sooner rather than later, and personally I’d rather it was us. He’s also not on a contract at Whitley Bay, so getting him now wouldn’t be an issue (in theory).

Nathan Simpson – RWB/RM

While right back isn’t exactly something we need urgently, If we can’t get a LB in and need to shove Evans over to LB to cover, then Nath would be a decent shout. He’s capable of playing just anywhere up the right flank, so he’s perfect for Jon if he needs to revert to a back 5.

Nath has featured 9 times for the U21’s this year scoring 2 goals but like Pye, he has not featured in any games for a while – so he may well as get another chance out  on loan somewhere, following a short spell at Hebburn last season.

Michael Spellman – RW/LW

Another familiar face, Micky Spellman has only a few months left on his Sunderland contract and like a few players on this list now, hasn’t been used by the U21’s for a while – despite scoring 3 goals in 9 games.

A pacey and skilful player who can even play up top, Mickey was on Blyth’s radar earlier in the season before the league campaign got underway.

With Sizibia now back at York City, Spellman could be a like for like replacement for him. He’s obviously very familiar with a lot of the lads from last season, so he should fit back into the team with ease.

Tom Allan – RW/LW

A player we covered last summer, Tom has seen very limited game time at Gateshead across this season once again. He’s had a few injuries at different stages of the season, but for the most part he seems to have been either left out of the team or just be an unused substitute.

That being said though he did return to the team last night against Hartlepool United, where he scored the 7th and final goal of the evening. That may scupper any last-minute loan deal for him, as he’s likely put himself back in with a shout of getting a start for Gateshead.

Despite having a rough time with injuries in recent years, Tom still has bags of pace, is superb on the ball for this level of football and can still finish when playing In an advanced position. He’s been used as right wing back, striker and used on both wings, so his versatility would come in handy.

Ellis Taylor – LB/RW/LW

Yet another one who is in the final year of his contract and hasn’t been used by the U21’s since January.

With his versatility, Taylor may be exactly what we need – as he can cover 2 positions that we may be lacking in due to injuries. A very good crosser of the ball, Taylor’s also a canny dribbler (no jokes please) with a good first touch – so he’ll likely be better used on either wing rather than in defence.

Mikael Ndjoli – RW/LW/ST

Looking at the remaining players at teams in the region, there wasn’t an array of strikers that would be realistic targets for us in all honesty. The closest I could really get to a ‘realistic target’ was Mika, who of course featured for us earlier this season before making the switch to Spennymoor, where he picked up an injury.

I’m not sure he’ll be fit to play again this season, but if he is – he’s surely a must pick up. By the time his spell at Blyth ended, Mika was in fine form and looked capable of getting even better.

He’d be the perfect accomplice for JJ Hooper if we played up front with 2. Even if he was to be used as more of winger, he would still be a goal threat and cause full backs all sorts of issues with his flair.