Driver catches Latics’ eye
Reporter: SIMON SMEDLEY
Date online: 16 January 2014
ATHLETIC boss Lee Johnson has revealed his interest in signing Oldham-born, ex-Hearts midfielder Andy Driver — but it appears an unlikely marriage.
Johnson is also keen on 15-goal Halifax striker Lee Gregory — though again, a potential capture seems unlikely, while he hasn’t given up hope of landing out-of-favour Blackburn hit-man David Goodwillie.
Driver (26), currently a free agent after a successful season with Houston Dynamo is highly favoured by the Latics manager
Said Lee Johnson: “I like him. He’s a good player, the sort of player we would like to bring in. We’ve expressed an interest, but that’s about as far as any pursuit has gone. It’s certainly not got as far as any kind of contract.
“Maybe he wouldn’t be fit enough. We would only be interested in players we feel would improve the squad.
“If Andrew did ever come to us, it would have to be long-term rather than for the short term, because he hasn’t played much recently and would need around six weeks to get back to full fitness.”
Driver spent his formative years in Saddleworth before his family moved to Scotland. He went on to make 143 appearances over seven years for Hearts and scored 18 goals.
Gregory is a 25-year-old front man who has been on fire for Halifax in the Skrill Conference Premier this season. There has been interest in him from other clubs - Bradford rumoured to be among them.
Johnson said: “Gregory is another good player and we’ve been to see him a couple of times. But it looks like Halifax would want a fee, and it might prove difficult for us to find that fee.”
Goodwillie (24), currently on loan at Dundee United, continues to be linked with a number of top-flight Scottish clubs, including Aberdeen and St Johnstone. But that doesn’t mean Athletic are out of the running yet.
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