One bit of news that hasn’t escaped me this week is Fraser Franks turning down a new deal at Stevenage. It actually excited me a little because Franks is a player we’ve been linked with in the past and would add value to our squad.
Firstly, I want to address the perception that because he was at Stevenage last year and they finished below us, he’s no good. I had a discussion with a reader about Tom Miller yesterday, because he’s been released by Carlisle allegedly we shouldn’t be interested and should ‘aim higher’. This is an absurd way of looking at player recruitment.
Look at it this way, if I was throwing out a whole heap of ingredients such as beef, spices, potatoes, pasta and the like, would Gordon Ramsay be best to not take them because they’re not deemed good enough for me? No, he knows how to best utilise those ingredients to accentuate flavour, texture and vibrancy. Footballers are the same, just because Keith Curle doesn’t want Miller, doesn’t mean he’s garbage. After all, Chris Sutton released Sam Clucas, remember?
Thank you to all involved at @StevenageFC for the last 3 years. I’ve loved my time at the club but I feel it’s time for a new challenge now and have turned down a new deal. Really appreciate the support I’ve had since I’ve been here and I wish you all the best 🔴⚪️👏🏼 pic.twitter.com/1hs8g1rTGY
— Fraser Franks (@Fraserfranks) May 8, 2018
I’ve championed Franks for almost a year now, we didn’t get to see much of him against us this campaign which is a good thing. Part of me wonders if his game time this season has been limited due to him having little intention of signing a new deal? He’s played 32 times this season, scoring once.
Danny will know Fraser well as he’s been around the southern non-league scene and the lower leagues for a while now, as well as featuring for the England C team. I’m led to believe by one of my very reliable sources that we had a £50k bid for him turned down last summer. I appreciate at least one reader won’t accept that until it is made official, but those of you who know me will know I wouldn’t write it unless I was 99% certain it is true.
He’s a centre half of some standing, 6ft 2in tall and able to operate at full back also, although not to the same effect as Neal Eardley (who can?). In 2015/16 he cleaned up the Player of the Year awards at Broadhall Way in much the same manner as Alex Woodyard did for us last season and Neal did this time out. He’s partial to the odd goal too, not just headers but screaming volleys.
Good luck Fraser an underestimated defender in my view thanks for your commitment these past 3 years
— Neil Trebble (@trebbsy) May 8, 2018
He’s a veteran of southern football having been at Luton, Welling, Wimbledon and lastly Stevenage. On his Twitter feed, fans of Wimbledon and Gillingham, amongst others, have expressed a desire for him to move there. Certainly Danny and Nicky will have seen him close up at Welling whilst they were at Concord and he seems to fit the bill for us.
We like a defender who gets forward to score goals, and at Franks is a six footer who could offer an aerial threat. We like to have an option to move things about if we need to and again, Franks offers that. He’s a player who can advance with the ball, very similar in that respect to Raggs, although I wouldn’t dare stretch the comparison any further.
Cracking meal with a contact of mine tonight. He reckons Fraser Franks is nailed on to join Lincoln City. I'm told they bid £50k last summer but it was turned down.
— ExAgent (@ExAgent1) May 8, 2018
The move has either been given credence, or seized upon, by one of those ‘ex-agent’ Twitter accounts. As you know, I’ve tended to dismiss these as rubbish, this one looks new and some the rumours aren’t too far off stuff I’ve heard elsewhere. I’m a little concerned though, they’ve voted for me in the FBA’s so it could be their ‘knowledge’ is coming from my site, especially as there’s quite a bit of Lincoln bias too.
Either way it is silly season soon and rest assured, no matter what Danny and Nicky tell you about preparing for Exeter and all that, they’ll have a finger or two in the recruitment pies too. You’ll not hear about it, why would they upset the current squad with news of incoming players? It wouldn’t surprise me at all if there isn’t already a deal or two agreed either.
If Fraser Franks is one of those players, we’d be signing a very competent and versatile defender with a lot to offer League Two or League One.