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Friday, 03 July 2015

Something fishy in the AFC back-four

“IF it takes to go and get someone else to come in and defend set-pieces then we’ll do it,” vented a frustrated Dave Bayliss after watching his Barrow AFC side go down 1-0 to a late Luton Town header from a corner kick.

Lee Procter
Lee Procter

 How about someone who leaps like an... erm... salmon, Dave? No, not Jason Walker, but Mark Salmon.

How appropriate that just a day after Bayliss ripped into his side’s shortcomings in defending set-pieces, one of Barrow’s finest aerial and positional-minded centre-halves of recent times should coincidentally drop me an email.

The ex-Bluebirds skipper, now aged 35, was requesting a few photos from the Evening Mail archive to prove to his football-mad sons that dad used to be able to do the business over 90 minutes too.

Now all-but retired from playing the game he loves, I’m not suggesting Mark is the answer to Barrow’s set-piece problems, I’m merely remembering a player who could probably write a book on man-marking.

Salmon made 108 appearances during a three-and-a-half year spell at Holker Street that was ended by injury in 2006.

The Middlesbrough-born former captain – who returned to Barrow in 2008 to work in the shipyard for six months – was a favourite amongst AFC fans, many of whom, I’m sure, would love to know how he’s getting on.

Well, here you go: “I have played a few games this season for Tow Law FC in the Northern League but I have had to have another operation on my shoulder,” Mark told me in his email.

“I’m now recovering from that. I think it’s sorted now, third-time lucky, but my playing days could well be over.

“I am involved in coaching with a local youth team who my son plays for, called Marton FC. I coach the under-12s. I also had the under-nines, which my sons played for, although I don’t coach the younger ones anymore as my boy signed for the Middlesbrough FC academy.

“I have been asked by a few managers to help out with teams for next season in the Northern League, so if I don’t get my boots back out I might think about that.

“I hope all is well over there in Barrow. I’m going to try to get over some time this season to take a game in.”


IT hurts me to see that Shengs were once again chop-suey-ed in Sunday League football last weekend.

As a, shall we say, frequent visitor to the popular Barrow chinese takeaway, my work colleagues joke that I single-handedly fund the running of the soccer team.

Obviously this is not the case, but, still, it’s not nice to see my third favourite team get battered 17-1.

Leaking almost 11 goals per game in this season’s Soccer Bar Cup competition, Shengs are in need of player reinforcements.

Please don’t make me dust my boots off – call Chun on 07825 373981 to offer your services.

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