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Club News

LEAGUE ONE FOCUS: NOTTS COUNTY

10 July 2014

Notts County were founded 151 years ago on November 28th 1862 which makes them the oldest football team to still play at a professional level.

They are based in Nottingham with their ground, Meadow Lane, only a short walk away from the stadiums of Nottingham Forest and Trent Bridge, a well-known cricket venue.

Meadow Lane has been the home of The Magpies since 1910 and has a capacity of 20,211.

Nottingham R.F.C have also used the stadium for home matches since 2006 and it also hosts the University Varsity matches between Nottingham Trent University vs The University of Nottingham.

Prior to 1910 Notts County the team played their home matches at Trent Bridge, which was used mainly for cricket and football was only played if there were no cricket matches scheduled, before the Football League ordered them to find their own stadium. The move to Meadow Lane was finalised on 3rd September 1910 when the first match was played there, a 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest.

The stadium was bombed in World War Two which damaged the ground and left the pitch in unplayable conditions for the full 1942 season.

Manager: Shaun Derry
Shaun Derry was appointed manager of Notts County in November 2013 despite not having any experience of managing a side before. Derry’s playing career finished just before he took his first managerial role, with successful spells with Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers and Leeds United being just a few of the clubs Derry represented. He was mainly a defensive midfielder and spent three seasons playing in the Premier League in which his only goal came in 2012 when he scored for QPR in a 3-2 win over Liverpool. The 36 year old’s playing career began at Notts County, where he made 82 appearances between 1995-1998, before being sold for £750,000 to Sheffield United. His first season as a manager ended with success as a remarkable end to the season saw Derry steer the Magpies clear of relegation from League One on the final day. He recorded 17 losses in 33 matches, with a win percentage of 36.36%.

Key Player: Hayden Mullins
Experienced Hayden Mullins was named as the captain of Notts County before the start of the upcoming season. The former Birmingham, Portsmouth, Reading, Crystal Palace and West Ham United midfielder joined The Magpies on loan last season and made his move permanent after helping guide the team to survival. At 35 years of age, Mullins has a wealth of Premier League and Football League experience he can draw upon as he leads Notts County onto the field during the course of the season. He is a defensive midfielder who started his career in 1998 with Crystal Palace and impressively won 3 international caps for the England under 21 side, with all three appearances coming in 1999. He has won two promotions in his career, one with West Ham and the other during a loan spell with Reading, and has also started an FA Cup final. He played for Portsmouth in their 2010 FA Cup final loss to Chelsea but Mullins could have also played in the 2006 final for West Ham, but a red card in a league fixture prior to the final meant that he had to miss out due to suspension. Last season for Notts County he made 16 appearances scoring one goal but it was his leadership qualities which impressed manager Shaun Derry the most, which led to him appointing him as captain after securing Mullins on a permanent contract.

Last season:
Notts County finished the 2013-2014 season in 20th place, just one spot above the relegation zone, and three points clear of going down to League Two. Six wins from their final nine games was enough to push them clear of the four relegation places and maintain their League One status. At the start of the season Chris Kiwomya was the manager at Meadow Lane but he left the club on the 27th October by mutual consent following a poor start to the season. Development squad coach Steve Hodge was appointed caretaker manager for two games but moved back to his original position when the club appointed Shaun Derry as the permanent manager. Scottish midfielder Callum McGregor was the club’s top goalscorer for the season, with 12 league goals, but the 21 year old was on loan from Celtic and has since returned to his parent club. The fantastic end to the season which saw the Magpies to safety finished with successive home wins over Crawley and Swindon Town and a final day draw away at Oldham Athletic. Notts County finished the season with 15 wins, 5 draws and 26 losses and a goal difference of –13. However, their points total of 50 was enough to keep their place in the third tier of English football.

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