Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Thursday February 1 2007
A busy final day in the January transfer window has seen the Rams bring in two players, striker Jon Macken from Crystal Palace and defender Tyrone Mears from West Ham United, who signed late, on loan for the rest of the season. Another deal saw young Rams defender Nathan Doyle sign for fellow Championship side Hull city, for an undisclosed fee.
Macken will bolster the Rams strike force and Rams Coach Billy Davies is delighted to have the 29-year-old on board with an 18 months contract. Davies said: "I'm delighted to add a very experienced striker to the squad at this crucial time in the season. Jon has a lot of unfulfilled potential and we hope to see the best of him over the next 18 months.'
Macken began his career at Manchester United, but was unable to break into the first team. He then joined Preston North End in 1997, and it was in his time at Deepdale where he played his best football. He scored 74 goals in 188 appearances. His form attracted the attentions of a number of Premiership clubs and he joined Manchester City for £5 million in February 2002. He scored on his debut but injuries curtailed his progression at City and he was sold to Crystal Palace in 2005 for £1million. Again injuries dogged his time at Selhurst Park and he was loaned out to Ipswich Town earlier this season.
There was a late move for the Rams as Mears sign on loan until the end of the season from West Ham United. Mears has been a target throughout the transfer window, and the right-back, who worked with Davies at Preston North End, has made it seven signings the Rams have captured in the January transfer window. Mears plus the permanent signings of David Jones, Craig Fagan, Stephen Pearson, Gary Teale, James McEverley and Macken has given the Rams squad a solid look. Davies has always said he needs a squad that will make competition for first team places hard, he certainly has that now.
The Rams were given permission to speak to the player and he arrived at Moor Farm for talks late Wednesday night. The 23 year-old made an impressive start to his Deepdale career, before he made a £1million move to West Ham United last summer. Davies described his loan signing as 'a very attacking full-back with excellent pace who adds great competition to many other positions in the team. Ideally we'd like to make this deal permanent in the summer".
The Rams also parted company with Doyle tonight when he joined Championship side Hull City for an undisclosed fee. The Academy product, who turned 20 earlier this month, made the move after Bradford City agreed to release him from an extended loan spell.
Derby-born Doyle came through the academy ranks, and he made his first-team debut at the age of 16 in November 2003, Doyle has represented England from Under 16 to Under 20 age levels. Ironically the Rams manager then was Phil Brown, who is his new manger at Hull City.
The move is blow for Bradford, and Colin Todd, another ex-rams player, he was disappointed to lose the youngster. 'It's always a risk you run when you bring in players on loan,' said Todd. 'You can lose them at anytime if they are transferred full time.
'It's another massive blow for us with a player we have nurtured being moved on elsewhere.'
The 20-year-old left-back, a virtual ever-present in manager Colin Todd's first-team line-up since arriving at the start of the season, is understood to be on his way to Hull on a permanent basis.
Date:Thursday February 1 2007
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