Byrne is a Diamonds geezer..

For six months he is, anyway.  He’s gone on loan to Wednesday’s friendly opponents Rushden and Diamonds.  Of course, we also play Rotherham United that day too – so who knows which game will see the first team squad travelling and which will see a team of youngsters like the Ilkeston Town friendly that took place at the same time as the Burton Albion game.  Rotherham United’s website seems to suggest they are expecting a strong Forest side – and for £10 I’d hope so!

Back to Byrne, the youngster joins fellow Red James Reid who’s also on loan with Rushden, with Billy apparently withdrawing us from the uncompetitive reserves league, his policy for match practice for those players with half a sniff of being on the fringes of the first team seems to be long term loans – a good opportunity to test them in proper competitive matches without risking our own fortunes, of course!

Two things stick in the memory with Byrne, which is unfortunate – but borne of a lack of exposure to his ability – is that he’s small in stature, and THAT miss against Derby.  Not ideal things for any footballer to be remembered by so hopefully he gets a chance to lodge some better memories in our heads – certainly those fans I know who are more keen on watching Reserve and Academy matches have been impressed with him, so hopefully Rushden can provide him with some invaluable experience.  Starting with us on Wednesday!

McKenna and Gunter are signed, sealed and delivered!

Whilst we’ve of course known about them for some time, the deals to secure the services of Paul McKenna and Chris Gunter were finalised today.  McKenna signs a three year deal in a £750k move from Preston North End, Gunter signing a four year deal in a £1.75m move from Tottenham Hotspur.  A huge welcome aboard to both players from me, and I’m sure all of you.

I’m in full agreement with Kenny Burns’ piece in the Evening Post today that in McKenna we have a leader in the centre of the park for the first time in absolutely ages, indeed, it was the role that Neil Lennon was presumably acquired for – but that didn’t really work out, did it?  in McKenna we have the kind of player Reds fans don’t always seem to appreciate – however he can pick out a pass and has been known to score the odd spectacular goal, which may endear him to the more superficial fans more quickly.

We know all about Gunter from his loan spell, and whilst we’ve been crying out for a proper rightback since, well… since Nicky Eaden? Ha! Since forever it feels, it was no surprise that to have him slot in to the team last season was a huge benefit.  That’s no slight on Luke Chambers, who has started preseason impressively at centreback.  Depending on whether or not we’re able to sign a left back he can also cover that position effectively.  It’s great to read how keen he was to come back to Forest after only two months on loan here.

So there we go, no news on the supposed Blackstock signing from official sources yet – nor the ongoing rumours of bids for Mills, Fox, Ward et al – but well, you can’t help but feel a strong tinge of optimism with the positive moves being made in the transfer market with always a solid hint of more to come.  A big well done to the powers-that-be for their sterling work so far, but let’s hope they’re still in the midst of doing yet more of the same!