Wednesday, 13 April 2011

334 Chris Shuker

Position : Winger

Played : 2003-04 (on  loan  from Manchester City)

Appearances : 14

Goals : 1

In both 2002 and 2003 Manchester City came to Spotland for a pre-season friendly and in both games they brought on a little winger in the second half who caused us problems. He scored in at least one of the games. After the 2003 game Kevin Keegan offered him on loan to us saying he liked the way we tried to play football. Now I have to admit that , due to the similarity of his surname to that of the Croatian striker , for a long time I assumed he was an Eastern European and it took me a while to catch on that he was actually a young Scouser who made his League debut while on loan at Macclesfield in 2000-01.The following season he made a couple of appearances for City in the First Division then 3 in the Premiership the following year but he also went out on loan to Walsall.

Chris was a very exciting signing but the reality fell short of expectations. He had speed and neat footwork but usually used them to go down blind alleys and played in his own zone with little awareness of what team-mates were doing . He scored against Macclesfield but otherwise flattered to deceive and returned to City in November.

Almost immediately he went out on loan again to Hartlepool and his stats there are identical to his time with us. In March he signed permanently for Barnsley and his record there is very good winning their Player of the Year the following season . Chris was almost ever-present during his time at Oakwell scoring 17 goals in 100 appearances so his free transfer in 2006 was surprising. He signed for Tranmere and again was ever-present in his first season making the PFA League One Team Of The Year. Later seasons were injury-hit and he was released in 2010 after 123 appearances and 14 goals. He had trials with Motherwell and Leo Bertos’s club Wellington Phoenix but eventually settled for Morecambe and to date has scored twice in 21 appearances.

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