Season 2004/5

By Dan Buxton
Last updated : 08 May 2010

Gifton Noel-Williams - Burnley(Free)
#9
Striker
d.o.b:21/01/80
Signed;June 2003
Games in last season:41/6
Goals in last season:13
Total club games:83/8
Total club goals:23

Gifton was the first of Tony Pulis summer buys in 2003 after his bosman transfer from Watford. Young and gifted he was mentioned in the same breath as Michael owen when he started his career but has since been hampered by injuries and that has restricted his career.

Apparently was the life and soul of the dressing room and was never still. Another good purchase in the who stayed fit and helped Stoke push up the table and onto better things than the relegation threatened team he entered.

Was top scorer in both his seasons with the Potters after being joint top with Akinbiyi with 10 goals in 2003/4 and outright with 13 in 2004/5 before a summer free transfer to Burnley and rejoining Ade Akinbiyi.

Clive Clarke - West Ham(£250,000)
#3
Left Back, Centre back, Left wing,Centre midfield
d.o.b:14/03/80
Signed:Youth team
Games in last season: 44
Goals in last season: 1
Total club games: 242/21
Total club goals: 10

Initally a big crowd favourite but has seen his career halted by competiton from former England internationals, and it is a credit to him that he managed to see off Tony Dorigo and Marcus Hall. Was the given the captains armband. Featured in central midfield after John Eustace's season was ended by injury in February 2003 playing the last dozen games alongside Darel Russell in the centre of the park, where he commented on how much work you have to do there and how he didnt realise how tiring it was. Was called up to the Ireland squad to play in the friendly's over the summer and played twice at left back as competition for Ian Harte.

Left for West Ham after getting booed during his last season as his performances dropped dramatically in the centre of midfield and his influence waned.

Sulked when asked to go back to his natural position of left back for half a game in his final season.

Wayne Thomas - Burnley(Free)
#2
Right Back, Centre Back
d.o.b:17/05/79
Signed:June 2000
Games in last season: 37
Goals scored in last season: 3
Total club games: 215/2
Total club goals: 8

Had a hard working season first time round in the Championship but showed that he isnt up to 1st Division standard as a full back and then started the next season as a centre back and saved us on numerous occasions.

Started his Stoke career poorly after his £250K arrival from 3rd division Torquay. Got dropped for about 15 games midway through that season but came back and ended up winning many of the clubs player of the season awards as he produced many top class performances.

Played well in the promotion campaign that followed but found Division 1 a real struggle at first. Many fans weren't sure if he was good enough for this level until the next seson but certainly doesnt shy away from a tackle. Will always try and give 110%.

Moved to Burnley on a free transfer at the end of the 2004/5 season.

Chris Greenacre - Tranmere(Free)
#19
Striker
d.o.b:23/12/77
Signed/Sold: June 2002/June 2005
Games in last season: 19/16
Goal in last season: 1
Total club games: 50/33
Total club goals: 9

Signed with a big reputation as a goalscorer from Mansfield and on his first appearance in a friendly at Newcastle Town he scored a hat trick of all round ability, a volley from 30 yards, a header from 12 and a tap in after a save from the Town keeper, which showed he knows how to score all kinds of goals. Got injured in the friendly after when Darren Moore stood on his ankle accidentily. Came back in November and looked half fit for the rest of the season and was dropped to the bench or played central midfield for the away games towards the end of the season. Played his best performance probably against Reading on the final day of the season and seemed to play well with Ade Akinbiyi.

Never got a good run in the side afterwards but showed a good pedigree when he did get on and eventually was released and joined Tranmere.

Many City fans were disappointed and thought that if he hadn't got so many injuries he could have been a big success at the Britannia Stadium.

Ade Akinbiyi - Burnley(£600,000)
#10
Striker
d.o.b: 10/10/74
Signed: September 2003
Games in last season: 30
Goals in last season: 7
Total club games: 58/8
Total club goals: 19

Brought in for a second time from Crystal Palace, this time for good. Signed a three year deal after turning down Champions League football with Stuttgart. Scored the winner against Reading to keep us up on the last day of 2002/3. Made his full debut in the televised game against Norwich, after coming on for 3 minutes at the end of the marvellous win over Sunderland. Was joint top scorer in his first season scoring 10 goals despite only making twenty three starts and never getting fully fit. Is very strong and his strengths are with the ball on the floor with him using his pace and power to deadly effects. Loved by the fans for his work ethic was sold to Burnley for £600,000 after a disagreement about his contract

Marcus Hall -  Coventry(Free)
#30
Left back, Centre back
d.o.b:24/03/76
Signed: December 2002
Games in last season: 20/1
Goals in last season: 1
Total club games: 85/2
Total club goals: 1

Played a great part in our survival in his first season and rightfully owned the left back spot once he'd signed restricting clive Clarke to just the appearance when Marcus went to be with his wife who was giving birth.

Then had 4 kids and was still only 26 so his wife maybe had something to say in him accepting a new contract at Stoke and not going on the dole!

Showed the form that made him an England prospect during his early career when he was thought of as one of the most promising players in the country. Never lived up to that hype although usually performed well for Coventry before being transferred to Southampton where he lasted just 6 months before moving to Stoke after not being able to oust Wayne Bridge from left back.

Was put in centre defence a lot during early season in 2002/3 and looked comfortable in a 5 man defence as Stoke started the season well.

Left to rejoin Coventry after falling out of favour and losing his spot in defence to Clint Hill and Clive Clarke.

Kenwyne Jones - return to Southampton after loan
#27
Striker
d.o.b:05/10/84
Signed/Sold: February 2005/May 2005
Games in last season: 13
Goals in last season: 3
Total club games: 13
Total club goals: 3

Brought in after the sale of Ade Akinbiyi to play up front with Gifton Noel-Williams.

Seemed to link up well with the hitman as Noel-Williams form went thorugh the roof as he went on a goal rampage.

Jones wasn't as successful in front of goal but held the ball up well, showed the glimpses of skill but spent too much time on the floor. 

Michael Ricketts - return to Leeds after loan
#29
Striker
d.o.b: 04/12/78
Signed/Sold: February 2005/May 2005
Games in last season: 1/10
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 1/10
Total club goals: 0

Arrived over weight and over paid.

Former England international but didn't show it when he turned out for the Potters.

Never once threatened the goal and was only breifly used by manager Tony Pulis.

After loan spell returned to Leeds before moving onto Southend.

Chris Barker - return to Cardiff after loan
#27
Left back, centre back
d.o.b:02/03/80
Signed/Sold: August 2004/September 2004
Games in last season: 4
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 4
Total club goals: 0

Came in from Cardiff to play left back in Stoke's second seasom back in Division 1.

In debut came up against Rotherham and there striker, his brother, Shaun Barker.

Was solid as Stoke made a good start to the season before being recalled to Ninian Park.

Steve Guppy - Wycombe(Free)
#22
Left wing
d.o.b:29/03/69
Signed: September 2004
Games in last season: 0/4
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 0/4
Total club goals: 0

Signed for a month, stating he didn't want a long term contract as he was ready to join an American side in the new year.

Former Vale, Celtic, Leicester and Leeds winger added some much needed width to the midfield when he got on.

Set up two goals after coming on as a sub on debut in a 3-2 win over Ipswich that sent Stoke top of the table.

Gareth Owen - Odham(Free)
#25
Centre back
d.o.b:21/09/82
Signed: Academy
Games in last season:0/2
Goals in last season:0
Total Club Games:1/4
Total Club Goals:0

Another good prospect from our academy.

Gone to Oldham to get some experience and got rave reviews there.

Enough so that Oldham came in for him and took him away permanently.

Has had terrible luck and has had 2 years of his career out already with broken legs sustained one after another. Was on the verge of Gudjon's team just before that.

Jason Jarrett - return to Wigan after loan
#27
Centre midfield
d.o.b: 14/09/79
Signed/Sold: January 2005/February 2005
Games in last season: 3
Goals in last season: 0
Total club games: 3
Total club goals: 0

Came to Stoke to get his fitness levels up but struggled to break into the side and after playing only 3 games he left and returned back to Wigan.

A good player who is more than capable at this level and one Stoke may be interested in again in the future.

Chris Clark - return to Portsmouth after loan
#24
Midfielder
d.o.b: 15/09/80
Signed: February 2005/May 2005
Games in last season:0/2
Goals in last season:0
Total club games:0/2
Total club goals:0

Spent three months on loan from Portsmouth but was only used as a time wasting sub and didn't do anything of note.

Failed to make the bench on all but three occasions and was just brought in to put another face in the squad in case of any injuries.

Jermaine Palmer - released
#30
Striker
d.o.b: 28/08/86
Signed/Sold:Youth team/June 2005
Games in last season:0/1
Goals in last season:0
Total club games:0/4
Total club goals:0

Came into the side with a big reputation from the academy but didn't show it on his opportunity's with the first team.

Looked nervous and out of sorts and didn't put his big frame around like he can do with what is his big strength.

Was released by the Potters and joined Grimsby after a trial.

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