Liverpool prepare for next season

July 21, 1942
Merseyside football clubs are wasting no time in building-up first class combination for the next Soccer season, which opens on August 29. Once again our two leading clubs, Everton and Liverpool, will pursue the policy which proved so successful last season – the development of the young stars, but with a sufficient number of “guest” players to ensure 100 per cent attractiveness in team personnel.

Both Mr. Theo Kelly, of Everton, and Mr. George Kay, of Liverpool, have been casting around for likely players for weeks past, and the results have been encouraging.

Mr. Kay was one of the first to get on the trail of the Preston North End players when it was announced that North End would not play in the Football League competitions next season, and he has made application for sanction to play Andy McLaren, the young Scottish inside-right, Bill Shankly, the Scottish wing half-back, and Jack Wharton, the former Plymouth Argyle outside-left. All three players helped the Reds towards the back end of last term.

Wolverhampton Wanderers have already given permission for Mr. Kay to play Dick Dorsett, who played as much for Liverpool last season as he did for his own club. Aston Villa, despite the fact that they are returning to league football, have given permission to Liverpool to play Roy Guttridge, the full-back who was an Anfield “regular” throughout last season, but I doubt whether Fred Haycock, the inside forward, will be released. The Villa will, I think, want him for themselves.

They want Mills.
I have not the slightest doubt that Chester will once again loan to Liverpool Alf Hobson, their goalkeeper who went to Chester from Anfield. Chester are well off for goalkeepers, and so can afford to allow Hobson to play with the Reds.

I can tell you that there is a possibility of George Mills, the Chelsea international centre-forward, playing for one of our two premier clubs. I gather that big George is available, and I shall be surprised if neither club secures his services.

Mills is the former Bromley player who missed international honours as an amateur, but who played for England against Wales and Ireland in 1937 as a professional. In those two games he bagged four goals. Mills is now in the RAF and would be a big attraction to either club. He is a great player, take my word.

Chelsea have already given Liverpool permission to play Alf Hanson, who, after a long spell with New Brighton, came back to Liverpool late in the 1940-41 season and badly damaged a knee playing against Everton. Alf has not played football since, but he has made a remarkable recovery, and is playing baseball this season with all his old dash and confidence. Baseball, as a matter of fact, is proving just the right thing to bring him back to complete fitness.

Alf’s baseball club is Carlton, and it is on the cards that he will begin the next football season playing for Carlton in the Liverpool County Combination. This, indeed of going right back into League football. A few games in the Combination should enable him to find his feet again preparatory to the return to the highest sphere. Any way, that is how Alf feels on the point at the moment. If he wants League football right away then he can play for Liverpool. It is all up to him.

Balmer’s progress.
I am pleased to say that Jack Balmer, Liverpool’s international inside forward, has made an excellent recovery from the injury he received when playing for the Western Command against Wales last May.

From what I can gather he should be available, while Berry Nieuwenhuys, the South African international, called to see me yesterday, and he said he is looking forward eagerly to the coming season, when he thinks he will be able to play for his club.

Berry is going great guns in the RAF, and curiously enough he was stationed with George Mills for a long time. Nieuwenhuys played a lot with West Ham last season, but hopes to be one of Liverpool’s regulars next term.

That being so, Liverpool should have plenty of forward, for Cyril Done is still here, and Billy Liddell, the Scottish international, also in Liverpool, not having received his call from the RAF. In other departments there will be Harry Kaye and Ray Lambert, not forgetting young Fred Finney, Stan Palk and a few others who have learned the game in the ‘A’ team and who have every right to senior rank.
(Evening Express: July 21, 1942)

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