Saturday, 28 May 2011
411 Sam Russell
Position : Goalkeeper
Played : 2007-08 to 2008-09
Appearances : 38
Goals : 0
Sam was signed on non-contract terms in the summer as goalkeeping cover. He was originally on the books of his hometown club Middlesbrough but only saw first team action in loan spells at Gateshead, Darlington and Scunthorpe. In July 2004 he signed for Darlington on a free and was first choice keeper for most of the next three seasons making 107 appearances in total.
Sam got his chance at the end of November against Mansfield at home . He immediately looked a safer pair of hands than Spencer and kept his place until breaking a finger in the spring. He was given a contract to the end of the season and then installed as number one for 2008-09. Despite looking like a giant banana in his all yellow kit Sam was an agile keeper with excellent distribution skills and good command of his box. He did have one major weakness , a tendency to push shots out to opponents' feet which did cost us some goals.
Sam had the misfortune to get injured again in January 2009 and Frank Fielding came in to replace him. He was perhaps surprisingly released in the summer although there may have been more to it than his capability. Rumour had it that the ex-Darlo contingent were acting as a disruptive clique in the dressing room and needed breaking up.
Sam moved on to Wrexham making 18 appearances in 2009-10 then rejoined Darlington in the summer of 2010 .