brighton logo

Transfer Window Round Up - Summer 2009

What do you do when you only survive relegation to the bottom tier on the last day of the season? Sign a complete new team, of course.

Out have gone 13 players from last season and in come 12 new faces in the biggest rebuilding job the club have seen since the first season at Withdean when Micky Adams did a similar trick.

And it's not just the deadwood who have been cleared out with Russell Slade also getting rid of a couple of players who played vital roles in the Great Escape of last season.

He has also splashed the cash courtesy of new chairman Tony Bloom, not least on a new marquee forward in the shape of Liam Dickinson. When you spend money like that, then battling at the top is the requirement as opposed to the trials and tribulations of 2008-2009.

Prepare yourself - it is a long list:

Doug Loft - Port Vale
Finally got a run in the side towards the end of the last season with his reward being to be released on a free. His intelligent use of the ball was vital in the Great Escape and the Albion's loss should be Port Vale's gain if Micky Adams uses him more than he did at Withdean.
Lloyd Owusu - Adelaide United
The man who's goals kept Russell Slade's side up last season turned down the offer of a new contract to seek fame and fortune on the convict isle of Australia with Adelaide United. If Glenn Murray and Nicky Forster have injury hit campaigns again, he will be tough to replace.
Tommy Fraser - Port Vale
Another man who finally established himself in the side only to be released come the end of the campaign. Rumour has it he was told he could come back on trial if he didn't find anything better which didn't go down to well with the short tempered ginger. Now linking up again with Adams at Port Vale.
Jake Robinson - Shrewsbury Town
Talented striker who was billed as the next best thing only to be sorely let down his attitude. Had a number of run ins with Dean Wilkins the likes of which simply weren't tolerated by first Adams and then Slade so no surprise to see him released to join Shrewsbury Town.
Kerry Mayo - Retired
Lucky to get another contract last season after being released, he played little to no part this time around and it can't come as a surprise to see him gone. A wonderful servant to the club he will quite rightly go down as an Albion legend.

John Sullivan - Millwall
Made a long awaited first team debut this season but was never seen as anything more than a back up at Withdean. He impressed in the JPT match at Shrewsbury and in a 0-0 draw at Leicester but with serious competition needed for Michel Kuipers, he's off to Millwall and another number two job.
Adam Hinshelwood - Aldershot Town
Who knows how far he could have gone had it not been for injuries. Look an absolute star in 2004-2005 with an England under 21 call up the reward but since then never the same player. A wonderful own goal against Colchester on Boxing Day will stick long in the memory.
Chris Birchall - Los Angeles Galaxy
This is to put it simply a bloody unbelievable move. One of several Micky Adams panic buys, not good enough for League One is somehow going to be a team mate of DB7 at LA Galaxy. Must have been that Trinidad and Tobago international line he uses.
Jason Jarrett - Released
Promptly dropped on Russell Slade's arrival, the midfielder was another of Adam's panic buys when he realised we were headed for relegation and spent most of his six months at Withdean looking like he didn't give a toss, just happy to pick up his pay cheque.
Sebastian Carole - Tranmere Rovers
Struggling to avoid relegation from League One, then just what you need is a player undergoing the same fate in League Two. Adams thought so anyway, bringing Seb Carole back to the club for a second spell where he has lasted just six months before being released to join Tranmere.
Joel Lynch - Nottingham Forest
Deciding he'd rather go with Colin Hawkins than Joel Lynch at centre back must rank as the greatest cock up of Adams Mark II's reign and that is saying something. The defender spent last season on loan at Nottingham Forest with the move turning permanent for 200,000.
Jonny Dixon - Retired
A fine waste of 55,000 from the Dean Wilkins days who has rather flairly decided that rather than attempt to find another club he will retire at the age of 25 to become a music producer. And who can blame him when he is giving it to Holly Valance?
Mark Wright - Bristol Rovers
You'll read a little more about him in the arrivals section, for the winger only rocked up at Withdean in the summer and has lasted a mere three games before claiming to be homesick and being sold to Bristol Rovers. Which meant Elliott Bennett arriving, who you'll also read about shortly
Others released - Sam Gargan (Salisbury City), Kane Wills (Ebbsfleet United)

Liam Dickinson - Derby County
The biggest signing for many a long year arriving from Derby County for 300,000. Signs from Derby where he never played a game but has enjoyed successful loan spells to Blackpool and Huddersfield. For the money paid will be expected to bang goals in on a regular basis.
Gary Dicker - Stockport County
A huge part of last seasons Great Escape after signing on-loan from Stockport. Russell Slade has taken advantage of the financial uncertainty at Edgeley Park to pick up the talented midfielder on a free transfer. We all know what he can do and do it well he does.
Andrew Crofts - Gillingham
Gillingham captain, Wales international and a goal scoring midfield who has agreed to make the move to Withdean after failing to agree a new deal at the Priestfield following a loan spell with Peterborough last season. The Gills might live to regret letting him go on a free.
Alan Navarro - MK Dons
Holding midfielder who was released by MK Dons in the summer. After a successful trial, Gus Poyet has handed him a contract at Withdean for this campaign. Neat and tidy, he does the simple things well. A solid Mr 7/10 sort of professional.
Graeme Smith - Motherwell
Russell Slade has attempted to address the lack of competition for Michel Kuipers over the last few seasons by signing Graeme Smith from Motherwell. A former Scotland under-21 goalkeeper, he has been highly praised by former Albion boss Mark McGhee.
James Tunnicliffe - Stockport County
Young and promising central defender who is the latest ex-Stockport player to move South signing for an undisclosed fee thought to be six figures. Absolutely huge, he has a massive throw on him which we have already seen cause problems.
Mark Wright - MK Dons
You've already read about him having departed after three games. So feel free to skip this as there isn't really much to say other than what a good job Russell Slade did in signing a player on a free and then selling him on just two months later for a fee.
Elliott Bennett - Wolverhampton Wanderers
The best bit about Wright's departure is it allowed Elliott Bennett to come in from Wolves for an undisclosed six figure fee. Despite his tender years he already looks like an assist machine with the ability to play down either flank. Will only get better.
Matt Thornhill - Nottingham Forest
Midfielder who has arrived on-loan as part of the deal that took Joel Lynch the other way to the City Ground. Helped the Tricky Trees to promotion from League One in 2008 and should provide cover to a midfield that is looking far superior to last seasons version.
Arron Davies - Notingham Forest
Arrived in the final hours of the transfer window as a second loan midfielder to come from Nottingham Forest. A wideman who played a huge part as Yeovil rose through the leagues before moving in a deal with 1.2m to Forest in 2007 since when he has found first team chances limited.
Jake Wright - Crawley Town
Defender who the Albion fought off stiff competition from the SPL to sign from Crawley Town for another hefty transfer fee. Capable of playing left back, he will cover for Jim McNulty until he is back to full fitness with his long term future probably at centre back.
Jamie Smith - Crystal Palace
Diminutive attacking midfielder who was released by Crystal Palace in the summer without playing a game. After a successful trial, Russell Slade has handed him a deal at Withdean where everybody will be hoping he can live up to his undoubted potential.




  • No loyalty contracts for last season - if you aren't good enough you are out.
  • A goalkeeper to put some much needed serious pressure onto Michel Kuipers.

  • The cash has been well and truly splashed on a striker with a good goalscoring record.
  • Proven League One performers - not people the manage purely knows from his old clubs as was the case last season.
  • If Nicky Forster and Glenn Murray have injury hit seasons again, we will struggle for goals.
  • 300,000 is a big gamble on a player who is rumoured to have attitude problems.
  • A huge turnover in first team players may take time to gel.