Alan Hardy rules out loan moves to Ilkeston for fledgling Notts County stars until they get promoted


Chairman Alan Hardy says Notts County are prepared to let their young prospects go out on loan, but ruled out the possibility of them gaining experience at his other club Ilkeston FC.

Magpies boss Kevin Nolan confirmed this week he would be willing to grant loan moves to some of his fringe first-team members, which is likely to include defender Pierce Bird, Callum Saunders and Elliott Hodge.

Notts had used the Checkatrade Trophy to give them much-needed minutes under their belt this season, but they were knocked out of the competition by Lincoln City in midweek.

With Hardy having bought Ilkeston earlier this year, it seemed the ideal club to allow some of Notts’ fledgling stars to flourish.

But the Notts owner says they must first get promoted from the Midland League Division One where they currently sit third in the table.

“We would like to send players to Ilkeston on loan, but they are just at a step too low for us to do it,” he said.

“It’s therefore important that Ilkeston get promoted so we can do that next year.

“But we have discussed sending players out on loan because it’s important they get match time.

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Callum Saunders could also be set for a loan spell.

“Pierce Bird had a great debut at Lincoln on Tuesday night but he needs minutes

“While Richard Duffy and Shaun Brisley are playing really well, Pierce is not getting minutes at a high level.

“He’s playing under-23s games but that’s a bit hit and miss, he’s not playing under-18s games so he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment.

“We need to get the likes of Pierce out on loan and there are also others we’d like to get experience too.”

Hardy says talks will continue as to where the players could go on loan, but says it would be a pointless exercise unless they are guaranteed games.

“As much as we would like them to go out on loan, it’s important that there are clubs out there who want to give them games,” he continued.

“The problem is a lot of them will have settled sides. I know this from what is happening at Ilkeston.

“We are third in the table, and there have been a couple players who did really well for us at the start of the season, but picked up injuries. Now they are fit, yet they can’t get in the team.

“In the last 13 games, Ilkeston have won 10, drew two and lost one so why would you want to change a winning team?”



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