Often Partisan

Prodigious Sons

Mitch Hancox and Reece Brown are included in a strong squad for Birmingham City’s development squad game today against Barnsley, which will be played at Solihull Moor’s Autotech Stadium at 1pm today.

The 16 man squad also includes Koby Arthur, who has returned from injury along with Adam Legzdins and trialist Connor Cesar. However, centre-back Emmanuel Mbende is out with the thigh injury he sustained in the warm-up against Lye Town in the Birmingham Senior Cup last week.

The match marks Reece Brown’s first presence in the u21 squad since he went on a number of trials last month at Premier League clubs Bournemouth, West Ham and Manchester City. Although my understanding is that none of those trials were successful I’m hopeful that this may turn into a positive for the young midfielder as it may prove to be the exercise that shows him what he needs to do to make it with Blues – and that his inclusion in the squad might just be that he has turned the corner.

Make no mistake, as much as I’ve criticised Brown for his lack of application I do believe he’s a rare talent – if Blues can make the most of it everyone wins.

While I’m not surprised Mitch Hancox has been given some game time today I’m pleased to read in the linked article that he travelled with the squad to Bristol City at the weekend. I did fear that he had been completely frozen out but it might be that Gary Rowett has decided that the left-back does have something to offer – even as cover – and as such it boosts Blues’ numbers where they probably need it most.

It’s interesting that Charlee Adams also travelled at the weekend but isn’t included today; I suspect that Adams is much closer to the first team squad and needs to be kept back as cover.

Arthur has been out for some time with injury so it’s great news that he is finally on the mend now also. I think the next few months are going to be vital for the young Ghanaian’s career and he really does need to show in the u21s that he can be another young gun who can step up to the first team plate in the same way Viv Solomon-Otabor has this season.

One young gun who won’t be in Solihull is Alex Jones. The former WBA striker has gone out on loan to New Zealand, joining Wellington Phoenix who play in Australia’s A-League. Jones has joined the Kiwi club after being recommended by WBA goalkeeper coach Jonathan Gould, who was formerly assistant manager for Phoenix and takes a visa spot formerly allocated to Fijian striker Roy Krishna. He is on loan in New Zealand until the end of their season in April and his first game could be against Shane Lowry’s new club Perth Glory.

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63 Responses to “Prodigious Sons”

  • atko says:

    An alternate reason for their inclusion could be that the loan window will open soon so get them playing and out there so others can see what they can do. I think the club will be happy if they’re all out on loan until the end of the season.

  • Womble Joe says:

    So Brown is back? Those who said he’s the best at his age in the country must now be wondering why none of the clubs he trialled with made a bid. Or any other club for that matter.

    Shame but this lad just ain’t gonna progress

  • John Ramsay says:

    Brown and Arthur only need to look at Adams and Soloman-Otabor to see what can be achieved if they really put their mind to it, get their head down and work hard. Do they really want it? Impress Gary or get shipped out. It’s down to them.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Good to see on a few fronts although it’s going to be difficult for poor Reece to play well with that big tail stuck between his legs

  • ChrisG says:

    I think the best thing for young Koby now would be to get himself fit & concentrate on next season, I know there are still a lot of games to play yet but I can’t really see him being used in the 1st team unless we have a glut of injuries or suspensions. Good to see Hancox has been included today, along with Reece Brown he’s another one who needs to knuckle down & prove himself, things were really looking promising for him a couple of seasons ago but he seems to have lost his way & he more than anyone should know how us bluenoses love “one of our own”, I wonder if GR has had a word with him & decided to give him another chance based on their chat, i’d imagine that that would be the sort of thing GR would do.

  • James says:

    I think its a great peice of man management by GR. I feel its very much of a case that if you think you are that good go prove me wrong and try and sign for a prem team. Of course its a calculated risk but if the lad has an attitude problem why would you want him at the club? Also, by playing him what example does that show to the rest of the scholars And U21s? I hope this bit of tough love works and he can finally kick on. Lets face it the lad must be a bit of an idiot not realising that earning a five figure weekly wage playing football for a living rather than working some dead end job every hour god sends for at most a couple of k a month. For that the least he can do is turn up on time to training which lasts at most half a day!

  • Dave Mann says:

    With Reece Brown , Mitchell Hancox and Koby Arthur back in tow then that can only be good for the numbers and for them to try and prove a point to the manager that they have a future pushing for first team squad inclusion …. It can only benefit the club and the fans if they get there heads down and show us the quality we know they do have if there dedicated enough , if not then ship them out on loan and get players in who are good enough to buckle down and push for the first team … I hope they prove us and the manager wrong by showing us that there all about because competition for places will be even more competetive if they do that . KRO

  • River says:

    Hope Reece settles down and leaves the brown stuff at the door.time to change from marmite to something more sweeter

  • JDC says:

    Adams is on the website as in the squad

  • Let’s hope Alex Jones is not just out at NZ to be on show , let’s hope he keeps his eye out for great young talent for the club , using himself as a comparison , and an offer of a fat bonus if he finds a player and the club signs him, busman’s holidays are sometimes best . KRO

  • StaffsBlue says:

    It’s going to be tough for Hancox now. He’s out of contract at the end of the season and will probably have very little opportunity to impress in that time, unless Grounds gets injured or suspended, As Grounds has played 73 out of the 75 league games since he arrived, it’s looking unlikely.

    Everything that can be said about Brown has been said, over and over. The lad definitely has the talent, but the application seems to lacking. It’s now down to how much he wants it. If he is eventually let go, he can only blame one person. It would be sad, but there you go.

    Welcome back Kobi. It’s been a stop-start career for him so far, let’s hope this is the end to his problems and he can kick on now. Good luck to him.

  • Womble Joe says:

    Don’t think any of em are championship standard and no bids for any of em so maybe the world of football agrees.

    Hancock – not good enough
    Reece – maybe good enough but I ain’t seen it but terrible attitude
    Arthur – not good enough and too small

  • We at stans are not Manchester united with scouts all over the world , we are relying on friends and other ways of getting information on players Shirley blue. ..keep a tighter rein on what is said DAN some of these comments sound like vigilante type comments …this is a top blog on the net ,run by Dan for blues fans to air their views , not for a gang of knockers to ridicule people if they don’t agree with them , keep it civil..

    • atko says:

      Don’t see anything wrong in what was said only an opinion you obviously don’t agree with. Comments are enabled for people to give their opinions. You can’t cry to Dan because peoples opinions are different to yours.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      I agree we need friends to look out for players but not young players who are going out to get some playing experience to try and kick start their careers – that was what I said was ridiculous. If you are really that sensitive you shouldn’t be on here.

    • almajir says:

      Hold on a mo, let me clarify something for you – this blog is run for me to air my views; whilst I do accept comments it’s not a platform for other people to air their views necessarily.

      • Mitchell says:

        Amazing comment Daniel.Cannot believe you would be quite content just to air your views- but it’s your baby etc.and we must respect that.

      • atko says:

        Obviously the fact comments are enabled means they are enabled for our views otherwise little point in them being enabled! That’s a strange comment you make which I find very confusing!

        • almajir says:


          What I want to make clear is that I don’t want people to take this site for granted; if I choose to stop writing it for whatever reason that’s it, I’ll turn it off completely. I don’t want people to see this as a platform for Blues fans to exchange views cos it’s not, it’s not a forum. It’s just a blog.

  • Womble Joe says:

    Friends who look for players? WTF does that mean??

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Friends = ex-players or people who have been connected with the club who have moved overseas who are involved with football over there. Or people who know the manager with some experience of professional football who watch games overseas. That makes perfect sense for them to keep in contact with the club if they see players who are promising we might be interested in. Not our young players we send out to get experience who should be concentrating on their own futures to be expected to act as scouts as Mr Morgan seems to think is appropriate.

  • 4 against 1 hey , sign of the times , is this the kray family , dear oh dear oh dear…

  • Congratulations to Gary rowett and co for a top rate window ,first class..

  • .KC says:

    Yes a great window with great timing. Just want all the new guys to live up to expectations now which I’m sure they will under GR’s guidance. Vaughan chipping in with a few goals, Buckley contributing at least as much as the decent competition he has out wide, Fabbrini at his best, and Shotten giving us genuine options in defence. Looks a well balanced squad on paper. I think we are ready for Sheffield Wednesday. Would love to see us top 20,000.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Anyone heard any news – good or bad – on Toral’s injury yet?

    Our U21s beat Barnsley U21s (including Nick Townsend) 2-0 today, with Mitch Hancox scoring one and setting up the other. Well done those lads.

    • David L says:

      Good news indeed – did the wind make a mockery of the match?

      Oh for the days of the Central League/Football Combination when squad players (or as we used to call them reserves) could get a decent regular meaningful(mostly) game.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Too right. We need competitive games for our reserves.

        • almajir says:

          You mean like the ones they have in the Professional Development League?

          If you mean for the first team reserves… the thing with having a small squad is our reserves ARE our under 21 team…

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Yeah, that’s the one.

          • David L says:

            Sort of – I’m a bit out of the loop, but certainly up here with York City (my nearest FL team, and this was in the seasons when they weren’t terrible) – we had a squad of about 20, the fringe players never got much game time so when they did need to play in the first team they were rusty and not match fit.

            Hence my thought here. I can remember the days of the 42 game combination league and sure there would be some meaningless games where teams were made up of all sorts, but at least senior pros got a regular game playing against other adults as opposed to U21s.

            Obviously problems scheduling, but it’s just a thought that such fixtures would be great for NBM, Adam L and the like.

            But I appreciate the modern thought that 1st team squad training etc is superior to reserve fixtures.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            I saw some cracking games way back in the CL and FC. A lot of stars too. Good days.

  • ChrisG says:

    On a different note, it’s great to see blues have sold their full allocation of tickets for QPR already, fkin awesome supporters. KRO

    • paule says:

      Got my 5 tickets my 1st away game this season I’ve missed going on my travels the atmosphere is so much better than the home games, we’ve got the best away supporters in the midlands by a country mile and my kids love the day kro.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Yes mate and me and the family have ours . KRO

  • Dave Mann says:

    And Doncaster ! KRO

  • Womble Joe says:

    Sold out Rotherham too which ain’t for 2 weeks and QPR is the end of the month so great support for 2 far off games and cheapo trains too. Just waiting for Blackburn and Wolves now.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    Looks like Blues were impressed with Brentfords out of contract striker Montell Moore when he was on trial with us and will sign him on a free

  • Mitchell says:

    I am not really sure what we as fans can now comment in view of Daniels earlier warning about us not taking his site for granted. To make it very clear that this site is not a platform for fellow bluenoses to exchange their views is totally bewildering and I for one have completely mis-read the basis of Often Partisan. My respect for Daniel is and always has been high, but this sudden change of mood and the threat of removing this ‘healthy debating’ site for really no apparent reason can only be for deeper reasons. This comment by myself is not intended to be a request or for an explanation by Daniel,as he has earlier made his comments very clear and therefore understood.

  • Womble Joe says:

    Think you’re reading too much into it mate

  • .KC says:

    Dan, you have huge respect for the information and comment that you provide. I really hope you do not consider terminating. Comment has grown but that is a reflection of the following and success of the site. Often Partisan is the first thing I look for and open on News Now- Bham City. I know I am going to get a good up to date read far better than any other site and a million times better than traditional media. In my opinion there are some linked comments that go off on a tangent and are more about the people making the comments than relevant to the subject but c’est la vie. I doubt if it would be able to change the volume or the nature of the comments now but there are far more positives than negatives. Again not a request for an explanation as you are well understood. Please continue with it as long as YOU see it as a pleasure not a chore. In my humble opinion comment should be about the subject and not the person making it.

  • Womble Joe says:

    Not be being funny but that last line made me laugh KC.

    The subject of this thread is the development squad :)

    Sorry :)

  • Come on guys let this go over the top of your heads , my family have supported blues for around 120 years , my grandad lived In garrison lane ., he had 9 kids and most lived near Stan’s , I have the same dream as my grandad had for blues to win the prem , there are still some of the family watch blues . don’t shadow that light at the end of tunnel .the dream is stronger than the written word …KRO

  • AussieBlue says:

    We might get bumped out of play-off position tonight if Wednesday draw and Ipswich win; but revenge against Sheffield on Saturday looks good!
    Re Dan’s comments – don’t worry, I’ve been enjoying his blog for 3 years – he gets like that sometimes but he’s a top bloke really and always kind to kids and furry animals. Just don’t slag each other off.

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