Friday, 13 May 2011

385 James Sharp

Position : Cemtre  half

Played : 2006-07

Appearances : 12

Goals : 1

James was one of three new signings thrown into the side at home to Hereford at the beginning of September. He was a free agent having just finished a short term deal with Shrewsbury without making a League appearance for them. For a 30- year old James didn’t have that many games under his belt. He was a latecomer to the professional game having reached the age of 24 by the time Hartlepool signed him from Andover FC in 2000. He won a player of the year award but later fell out of favour and left for Falkirk on a free in 2003 after 49 appearances and 2 goals. In 2004-05 he enjoyed a double championship success when he got a medal for his contribution to Falkirk’s Division One title despite finishing the season on loan at Brechin who topped the Second Division. James joined Torquay on a free in the summer of 2005 where he was club captain and played 32 games but was still released a year later. Shrewsbury was his next port of call.

James was a no-nonsense stopper in the Alan Johnson mould who gave 110% effort every game. He had penalties awarded against him in his first two games but both were very dubious ; the one at Bristol Rovers (which was saved) marred a fabulous man of the match performance which their fans were talking about on the way out. He scored with a well-placed header against Shrewsbury (which he enjoyed a lot) and his contribution at the back was crucial in the 5-game unbeaten run in the autumn that gave Parkin some breathing space.

Unfortunately James was unable to keep that form going and the wheels came off in the 7-1 defeat at Lincoln where he was abysmal (mind you, so was Stanton). Painful defeats at home to Stockport and Bury convinced Parkin that bringing McArdle back in was a better option and James didn’t feature again. Keith Hill described him as “a model professional” but didn’t want to keep him after his contract expired in January 2007.

He moved on to Airdrie United but had to retire due to injury after just 8 games.

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