Club news

Season preview 1908-09: Liverpool F.C. (Athletic News)


August 31, 1908
There are few changes of note at Anfield, though whether this is a favourable omen or otherwise will be determined in the course of a month or so. There are still attached to the club eleven players who once won the League Championship, and evidently these men are still considered capable enough to form the basis for another season.

Among those who have severed their connection with the club are Ned Doig, who has gone to St. Helens; James Gorman, to Leicester; Harry Fitzpatrick, Edward Husbands, and William Macpherson, the later having returned to Scotland to assist the Rangers. In my opinion this is the biggest loss the Anfielders have sustained since last April.

Attempts have been made to strengthen the weak places, and the directors have signed on another first-class custodian in Donald Sloan. Last year Sloan played for the Everton League eleven on frequent occasions and was never found wanting. Standing 6ft. 0½in., and weighing 15st., he is a force to be reckoned with, and Liverpool may consider themselves well blessed as regards keepers, for Sam Hardy and Donald Sloan will stand comparison with any pair in the football world.

While recognising that the rear division of the League eleven is in safe hands, I should have been more hopeful of the Liverpool team’s prospects had they displayed more keenness in securing a couple of first-class inside forwards.

They have obtained Bertram Goode of Chester, a young weighing 11st., and standing 5ft. 6in. In the practice games he has displayed capital form at inside right, being clever with the ball, and possessing a persistency which is bound to bring with it a due reward. I should have no hesitation in placing him in the League team straight away.
Harry Grantham, who hails from Sheffield Midland Athletic, 5ft. 10in. and 11st., is a serviceable extreme right winger, while Fred Smith, of South Shields Athletic, and William Smith, Bootle, are promising centre forwards. The former scales 11st. 11lb. and stands 5ft. 6in., while his namesake is half an inch taller but concedes 25lb. in avoirdupois.

The names of the old favourites who will again be on view are: –
Goal: Sam Hardy.
Full backs: Alf West, Tom Rogers, Billy Dunlop, and Percy Saul.
Half-backs: George Latham, James Bradley, James Hughes, Maurice Parry, Tom Chorlton, Jim Harrop, Alex Raisbeck, and Sam Hignett.
Forwards: Robert Robinson, Ronald Orr, Joe Hewitt, Mike Griffin, Jack Parkinson, Arthur Goddard, John Cox, and Sam Bowyer.

Included in the new arrivals are Sloan in goal, and Ted Hughes, a brother of the half-back, who is a sturdy local defender, 5ft. 8½in. and 12 st. 7lb. Last year he assisted African Royal, who won the championship of the West Cheshire League.

At half-back the Anfielders have made a rare capture in Ernest Peake of Aberystwyth. He stands 5ft. 9in. and weighs 11st. 7lb. Last year he played centre half-back in the Amateur International match for Wales against England, and rendered an excellent account of himself. In his trial on Wednesday last he accentuated the good impressions previously formed, and he is just the type of player Liverpool require, energetic and yet skilful.

From what I have seen in these preliminary canters I think Chorlton, Peake, and Harrop would ably uphold Liverpool’s colours in the intermediate line. Forward I have already mentioned Goode, while Cox, Hewitt, and Goddard are certainties. Parkinson seems to be developing a penchant for the extreme left position, and such a speedy runner as he is would do well here, could he only exercise more judgment in his efforts.

The two Smiths have displayed smart work as centre forward, but the Shields players appears to excel by reason of his greater and wider experience. The Bootle recruit, W. Smith, shaped very creditably in the first trial, and deserve further attention.
(The Athletic News: August 31, 1908)

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