Simon Goes As Grimsby Grab A Grand

Last updated : 10 January 2007 By Thetashkentterror
Simon Grand
22-year old defender Grand, who linked up with the Blues in the summer of 2004 on a free transfer from Rochdale, makes the move to Blundell Park today in search of regular first-team football, in a deal that could see him join Town on a permanent basis when his contract with Carlisle runs out this summer. Grand having been an unused substitute more times than he has started matches with the Cumbrians, at 39 to 38, Simon having also been a used replacement 13 times while chipping in with six goals for the Blues.

The Chorley-born defender knew when to pick his time to score as well as the goals he did notch were often important ones for United. Perhaps the most important of all being the extra-time effort at Macclesfield that pushed Carlisle into the final of the Football League Trophy last season, Grand having also bagged the winning spot-kick in a nerve-jangling 11-10 penalty shoot-out victory over Tranmere earlier in the competition.

Ex-United assistant manager Dennis Booth often fancied playing Simon upfront if the Blues were chasing a game, although that wasn't a concern when the defender came on in attack to partner Glenn Murray in the 86th minute at Darlington last season. Carlisle, already 3-0 up, notching further goals in the 88th through Murray and then Grand himself in injury time to complete a 5-0 rout that cemented their League Two title aspirations.

Simon has had to bide his time a lot since he came to Brunton Park, finding himself stuck behind three quality centre-halves in skipper Kevin Gray, Peter Murphy and Danny Livesey in the search for a first-team place. He hasn't been to one to sulk about it though, the 22-year old captaining the reserves to the league title last season, while also being the designated penalty taker for a second-string side that he has always put 100% effort into.

The centre-half, who can also fill in at left-back, will certainly need that good attitude to shine through on the East coast as well, Grand joining a Grimsby outfit, that, after challenging Carlisle for automatic promotion last season under then boss Russell Slade, now finds itself battling against the Conference trapdoor. Town currently sitting just three points above the relegation zone under the tutelage of their second manager of the season in three-times Mariners chief Alan Buckley, after Graham Rodger was sacked in early November.

First Team Transfers 2006-07
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