There is no doubt that a manager knowing his squad inside-out can only be a good thing, but few gaffers in the Football League can claim to have such a close relationship with his players than Kevin Blackwell.
Today’s signing of Matthew Spring, who played under the Sheffield United manager at both Leeds United and Luton Town, means that the former Watford man will see a familiar face when he reports to Shirecliffe in preperation for the season’s opener, at Birmingham City on August 9.
Blackwell, of course, will have indepth knowledge on the likes of Michael Tonge and Paddy Kenny, who starred for The Blades when he was United’s assistant manager in 2002/03, and also worked with Ian Bennett, Matt Kilgallon and Geoff Horsfield at Leeds United. It was indeed Blackwell who sold Rob Hulse to United in 2006/07, and again sold him as United manager, this time to Derby County earlier this month.
“Matt is a good midfield player who I know from Leeds and Luton,” Blackwell said.
“Financially, things are very difficult at Luton at the moment which is why we should be able to get him here.
“He was in Watford’s promotion winning side but the style there didn’t really suit him and I tried to sign him towards the end of last season.
“He’s a terrific athlete, gets up and down the pitch and into the box and, when Luton had a lot of games against Premiership opposition in the Cup, he was outstanding.”
Outstanding is one word that could also be used to describe Spring’s goal for Luton, against local rivals Watford.
The video’s not the best quality, but if Spring scores many like that at the Kop end of Bramall Lane, the fans may welcome Blackwell signing some more of his old boys…
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