Manager Keith Hill on the recent transfer activity at the club
Manager Keith Hill has been reflecting on a busy couple of days at Spotland following the closure of the January transfer window.
Speculation had been rife about a possible move out of the club for midfielder Jason Kennedy who is still very much a Rochdale player today, and Hill is delighted to have retained his services: “He has been very loyal to the football club and to the supporters, he replicates what the supporters want with respect to his performances and as a player, and he’s got a lot of respect for the football club and the people that he works for.
"He loves working at Rochdale but we did give him the opportunity to speak with another club but he turned round and said that the deal wasn’t quite right for him or his family’s future and he was more than happy to stay for at least the remainder of the season. I’m really pleased because he’s a player that I want to work with, he’s a player that’s integral to our plans for this season and I’m glad he’s remained here.”
Hill bolstered his defensive options on Wednesday with the addition of Shane Candsell-Sherriff who has joined Dale on loan from Preston North End, and the Manager says he has made an impact already: “He’s got experience – he got promoted with Shrewsbury from League Two. He’s previously been here before as a young player trying to make a name for himself when he was at Leeds and he is a very talented player. He is a vocal player and leader, he can play in a number of positions and he was my number one target so I’m really pleased to have got him in. He’s made a big impact already on the training pitch, but all the lads have. It has been a real pleasure to work with the players on the training pitch and they’ve responded to what we’ve asked of them. Every training session we’ve had so far has been really pleasing and encouraging.”
Goalkeeper Steve Collis was drafted in on Thursday as a replacement for Ben Smith who has departed the club in a bid to find regular football closer to home. Hill explains more: "It is difficult with the 'keeper situation because you're either in goal or you're on the bench. As a centre half you may be able to play full back or in midfield so you've got alternatives, but it's not very often that a goalkeeper will get replaced. It was an ideal situation to get Steve here as he's got experience.”
Although the January transfer window slammed to a close at 11pm on Thursday night, the loan window re-opens next Thursday, and Hilly isn’t ruling out more additions: “We’ll see more faces, 100-percent. I was in no rush yesterday, I was more concerned with the possibility of losing players. All the players that we’ve retained will only benefit us for the future and the remainder of the season. As we progress into next week when the loan window opens on Thursday there are one or two players we’d like to recruit but I’m in no rush, I’m not going to make any panic recruitments and find out that I made the wrong recruitments. I’m reasonably pleased with what I’ve seen of the players so far and with the clean sheet at Cheltenham, and I’m looking forward to the Chesterfield game."
Hear more from Hill on Dale Player now.