Grimsby Town Predictions for the 2014/15 Vanarama Conference Season

Here are some of my thoughts and predictions on the coming season for Grimsby Town and the Vanarama Conference 2014/15 season.

League Winners: Gateshead/Barnet

Gary Mills’ Gateshead went close last season after ending our own promotion challenge. And I expect them to be serious challengers this year. My alternative tip is Barnet. Martin Allen has made some good signings to add to the decent squad they already had. John Akinde and Charlie Macdonald up front looks a potent strike-force and I believe Bees Manager Allen has the mentality needed to be successful in this league.

Where Town will finish: 3rd

I think Town are set-up to remain consistent with previous years and achieve a place in the play-offs. We’ve made good additions in wide areas and we remain solid in central defence, but the lack of a prolific goalscorer will prevent the Mariners from winning the title.

Town’s Top Scorer: Ross Hannah

I would have been tempted to go for John-Paul Pittman but concerns over his fitness leave me unsure as to how many sustained runs in the starting eleven he will get over the season. He looks to be a real threat with his pace and power, and what possibly gives him an edge on Hamnah is that he looks to be able to create a chance for himself. Hannah is more reliant on service in the 18 yard box, but our improved quality/depth in wide areas should see him get plenty of chances to better his goals tally of last season.

Town’s Key Player: Lenell John-Lewis

I’ve gone for “The Shop” because as a regular in Hurst’s starting XI, if he can improve his goals record it could make all the difference this season. Most fans recognise the good work he does for the team. And the sensible amongst us will realise teams don’t often have 2 out-and-out goalscorers in their front two. In the past we’ve had the likes of Steve Livingstone, who never scored more than 10 goals in a season but played important role for the team and was widely adored by fans. Anyway, if John-Lewis can improve on his 6 league goals of last season, and get to 10-12, it could prove valuable in Town’s promotion push.

Key Summer Signing: Scott Brown

The central midfield area has been seen as the area needing improvement for years by GTFC fans. Scott Kerr was a very tactically intelligent player and comfortable on the ball last season. But with his declining fitness we probably signed him a few years too late. Brown looks like a player in a similar mould to Kerr, only much fitter and busier in the middle of the park. In the little I’ve seen of him so far, he looks very mobile, keen to get on the ball and use it well. He’s linked well with other clever players that are clearly on his wavelength, namely Scott Nielson, so I think he’s capable of living up to the fans’ expectations.

Town’s Most Carded Player: Shaun Pearson

Easy choice this one. Shaun Pearson as a regular first choice player should play all the games he is available for. He likes a tackle but unfortunately it is his mouth that gets him the most unnecessary bookings by way of dissent to the referee. Pearson is an excellent defender and we need him available as much possible. So I’m really hoping his suspension that caused him to sit out the decisive 2nd leg of the play-off semi-final has made him realise it is the silly bookings for dissent towards officials that cost him the chance to influence that important game. If Shaun can eradicate this part of his behaviour on the pitch, he could be a future Captain of the club because he already has the leadership qualities required.

Young Player to make an Impact: Paul Walker

The young right back appears physically ready to be thrown in at the deep end already. He didn’t look out of place in his appearances last season and right-back is again an area where we don’t have an outstanding player for the position so he has every chance of breaking through. His determined style rampaging up and down the right will win him plenty of fans no doubt.

Assist King: Jack Mackreth

I expect the pacey new right winger to make fools of many a left back in the Conference this season. His pace and direct running should get him into plenty of dangerous positions and then it will be down to him to pick out the head of John-Lewis, Hannah lurking in front of goal, or Disley arriving late in the box.

Do you agree or disagree with any of these predictions? It’d be good to hear some thoughts – leave a comment below to share your thoughts.


  1. As I always expect from you Tommy, another quality article !

    Agree we may be short of a goalscorer – guess we’ll wait and see !
    In addition to young Caine Winfarrah who has also impressed me, agree Walker could make a good impact.
    Agree about his “determined style rampaging up and down the right”.
    For that reason, wonder if he could be more of a right midfielder (as he played at Brigg) than a defender.

    Can’t disagree with any of your well thought out assessments.

    But just for the hell of it will take a punt at…

    Key player: Nathan Arnold (liked him a LOT at Alfreton – watch him go !)
    Top goalscorer: Jon-Paul Pittman (appears to have the goalscoring knack, can he stay fit ?)
    Young player: Caine winfarrah (impressive in pre-season too !)

    Will always believe we can win the title if we can get on a roll WITH BELIEF.
    As ever for me, fans and momentum are the real key to “1st prize success” at GTFC – if the football can reflect the fans passion…
    Whether we can do that with Hurst’s arguably “safety first” tactics, got to be honest I somehow doubt !

    However assuming we win Sat (anything else might lead to a tough downward spiral of negativity), I remain optimistic we’ll be thereabouts.

    5th and playoffs for me !

    All the best & UTM

  2. Well hello 80s, great to read a post from you.

    Re Walker: I have to admit I didn’t see him at Brigg playing wing-back, but I doubt whether he’s comfortable and good enough on the ball in tight areas to have his statting position higher up the pitch. Think he could well be better suited to getting forward from deep (full-back) when we get the ball. Overlapping the winger or running the ball out when there’s space to attack. Though if we played 3-5-2 with wing-backs he’d be suited to the wingback role more than Magnay (who looks a brilliant player to me but a CB or RB rather than a wing-back flying up and down the line.

    Agree re: Town really, I think if we win tomorrow it will have been a decent start to the season, taking all the unavailable players into consideration.

    All the best mate

  3. Hi again Tommy,

    Who told you it was wing back ? 😉

    Anyway points taken !
    I too have my doubts about any right midfield role – just “conjecturing”…
    I certainly agree with you about his suitability for a wing-back role.

    Ironic thing for me is with his unique style of his running, perhaps one could even be forgiven for wondering how he became a footballer.
    That’s not me trying to put him down in any shape or form, merely an observation of something unique.
    There’s no doubting there’s plenty of talent in the lad !

    Guess we may learn even more about his defensive abilities if he plays right back tomorrow.
    Hopefully we won’t – it’ll be Town doing all the attacking instead ! 🙂

    Certainly 3 points would mean a decent enough start overall.

    All the best mate

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