Gainsborough Trinity boss Steve Housham has said the club’s bid to land X Factor singer and former Frickley Athletic player Jake Quickenden is good publicity for the club.
Yesterday the club’s chairman Rickard Kane broke the news that Quickenden, who also featured on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, could feature for the Blues this season.
Reaction to the story was mixed, with some deeming it below the club to play someone simply to add numbers to the gate rather than for footballing reasons.
But Housham insists that Quickenden is not going to become a Gainsborough player in any permanent sense.
Instead, the 26-year-old might feature in the squad on the last day of the season at the Martin and Co Arena – if the Blues are safe from relegation.
Housham told the Standard: “The agreement is that if we’re safe, on the last home game of the season it’s a possibility that he might be involved in the squad.”
“You’re going to get positive and negative reactions, but it’s for the good of the club, reading about the club in the national news, it’s good publicity.”
Cynics might say that Quickenden’s inclusion in the squad, even taking into account his past in non league football, was a stunt that undermined the value of a place in the matchday squad at Trinity.
Housham has had enough of naysayers however.
“Everyone tries their hardest to give Gainsborough a good name,” he said.
“Mr Swann (former Trinity owner) did the same, but you get negativity back.”
Gainsborough are battling to stay clear of the drop zone in the Conference North this season, but boosted their survival chances with a vital win at fellow strugglers Gloucester on Saturday.
The manager isn’t getting carried away.
“Before last Saturday relegation was a massive talking point, we could have been in the bottom three, but at the same time last week’s win doesn’t mean we’re safe.”
“It’s just a win, it just gives us a bit of a gap.”
“I’m delighted for the lads and the fans that we got the three points in a tough week though, they battled hard.”
Trinity host Stockport County on Saturday at 3pm, but may be without the services of Jake Picton and Danny Forrest, hamstring injuries troubling both players.