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Revolving doors at Boundary Park

Date online: 30 June 2014

ATHLETIC manager Lee Johnson has described as “bittersweet” the transfer manoeuvres that have seen captain Korey Smith leave for Bristol City — and midfield man Liam Kelly arrive in the opposite direction.

The two deals — which are believed to leave Athletic more than £250,000 in pocket — were concluded late last week as Kelly (24) completed a thorough medical to seal his move to Oldham on a three-year deal.

Smith (23) has also signed for three years at Ashton Gate after one full season with Athletic.

Johnson is happy to have landed Kelly, a player he sees as an able replacement.
“Ideally I would have liked to have both Smith and Kelly,” said Johnson. “With Mike Jones that would have been a perfect midfield blend.

“But when you lose a good player you want to bring in one just as good, and I am sure we have done that. Normally, Oldham would not be signing a full Scotland international.”

A former team-mate of Johnson’s at Kilmarnock, Milton Keynes-born Kelly made 20 appearances for Bristol City after signing in January 2013.
He suffered a ruptured knee ligament a year ago and recovered only towards the end of last season.

“He is an all-round midfielder,” Johnson added on Kelly. “He is aggressive and driven to win, which is what we need.”

The player joined the squad today as pre-season training began in earnest.

ATHLETIC have announced a new kit partnership with Sondico.

The five-year deal will see Sondico supply a range of kit including training wear and equipment and home and away strips. Supporters will see the new kit for the first time in the pre-season programme.


It is all change in the midfield for the oncoming season with the loss of Wesolowski and Corey Smith both of whom were an integral part of the Latics makeup. Looking at the incoming midfield trio of Jones, Wilson and Kelly and their physical statures, it will mean that we can offer a more robust challenge and extra height however the quality will remain to be seen. With over a quarter of a million pounds also filling the coffers perhaps all will come good.

Another example of the club presenting themselves as Also Rans in League One by selling a top player to a club at the same level. Baxter, Tarkowski and now Smith. Whatever the economics it's lousy PR.

So we lose yet another captain, Furman previoslyI am struggling to see the logic in this switch unless it is purely the fact that Smith is getting a big pay rise. For a player to forego his captaincy to simply move to another league 1 club makes no sense to me and the gaffer hasn't explained the thinking behind this dealing. More eager to see Worrell return then a proven striker would look like a more ballanced squad,

Congratulations to Simon Corney for getting yet another remarkable undisclosed fee for Korey Smith. The Bank Manager must be clapping his hands to have such a figure resting in his coffers once more! Can anyone explain the secrecy behind such deals? Are we so embarrassed to have let yet another player go on the cheap and the club are afraid of the backlash from supporters? Don't we deserve a bit of respect from the club? We buy our season ti9ckets but are kept in the dark over almost everything

LJ that was a brilliant deal to sell Korey smith and get some money in for the club.


I think we may have replaced one potential crock with another - at least we have money in the bank . Nevertheless smart work LJ. Having the cash and not netting Harkins is of more cocern. There are very few players in league one who can turn a game in a moment - Harkins was one. However I do accept his application is debatable.

exmidsle look how furman progresd at donny, rubbish player

@emid: the undisclosed fee is not exclusive to Latics, most clubs have to deal with it these days.

Brizzle City may be in the same division, but many would perceive them as 'bigger' than us. We may not be able to compete financially, but that doesn't mean we can't compete with them on the pitch.

Luton have just paid £100K for a player, when was the last time we did that? We have to cut our cloth accordingly, rather that than boom and bust.

Good bit of business LJ, I never really rated Smith.

Clearly the "Critics" don't read the Chronicle or the OS, the explanation for this Smith move was explained by the Chairman weeks before the event.
Sadly most comments of a negative nature come as a direct result of so called supporters "Blog Sites" which are mostly rumour & guesswork.

Smith made it clear he would only sign a 2 year contract, meaning he had no value after this season,the offer was made, deal done, club made money & to be honest we've got a better player & we're still solvent.

at last nights trust meeting I was told smith was planning on leaving so getting money for him best outcome for the club.
harkins was offered more money by dundee and lets face it with joe mills attacking from left back we would be woefully exposed with harkins not tracking back

Kenilworthjohn how do you know Lee Johnson has brought a crock in, at least let us see him play first and he can't be any worse than Korey Smith who was well over rated by some of the fans and the manager.

Lets not forget Weslowski and Smith were also in our midfield when we were getting beat.
The lack of a BIG lad in central midfield has been the hallmark of Latics teams over the last 25 years at least the new lad is 6'1" (but he is a bit unlucky).
Up front we have Philiskirk and Clarke-Harris I am looking forwards to seeing Bove given his chance. The World Cup demonstrates good young players cause panic because teams don't know what to expect. Experience loans last season didn't work.

Wow... Isn't it exciting. New players, new season,new stand, club selling smith to help keep our club afloat. Fans? Saying they don't like new players or they are one of lj's mates. They have not only never heard of them, but never seen them play. Well! Remember Irwin, Barrett, Warhurst
, linigan, Marshal, and our own Tommy Wright. I had never heard of these reserves and youth players we brought in. But the rest was blissfull history. Keep going LJ i cannot help feel we are on the same path.

Good Business and the players we have got in with the budget constraints are very good. I was never a big fan of Welo or smith they were ok but the ball was easily dropped over the top of them because they were too short. The start of the season we played good football to watch but it was not solid enough and the real creativity came from harkins. So no loss in the centre of the park I will be happy to see some height there for a change!

LJ is now showing what a shrewd manager he is. I hope he sees the season through as manager at BP. What nobody has mentioned is the defence. The match before he was manager we had Bouzanis Mvoto Grounds and Tarkowski who have all moved on, they were all good players but they never formed as good a unit as that we had last season and I think the addition of Mills for Grounds will make that unit much stronger.


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