Striker Anthony Malbon looking forward to working with new Kidsgrove Athletic manager Scott Dundas



KIDSGROVE Athletic striker Anthony Malbon says he’s looking forward to working with the club’s new manager Scott Dundas – and scoring his 150th goal for the club once football kicks in again.

On the day Dundas was unveiled as the new manager following the departure of Ryan Austin last week, Malbon agreed a new two-year deal with the Hollinwood Road club.

And although it could take some time before he reaches that 150-goal mark, he’s on 147, he says there are more pressing things to worry about, and that’s the coronavirus crisis sweeping the country.

“Yes, it’s really frustrating not being able to play football, but you’ve got to look at what’s going on around the world at the moment,” said the 28-year-old who waited until the new manager was appointed before putting pen to paper.

He explained: “I love playing for Kidsgrove Athletic, it’s a great club but I wanted to see who the new manager was before I agreed to the deal. I’m happy Scott has been appointed and I’m looking forward to playing for him. He knows the league well and has had success at other clubs,” added Malbon and although he hasn’t played for any of the teams Dundas has managed, knows a lot of people who have.

“A lot of my mates have played for Scott at one time or another, so I know what to expect.

“He’s a bit of a legend at the club, having scored 53 goals in one season quite a few years ago. I just hope he isn’t setting me goal targets already,” added Malbon whose main aim now is to get himself fit for when the season eventually kicks in again, which will be next season now.

He explained: “I have missed quite a few games this season through injury, some of the games because I have tried to come back too quickly. I lasted six minutes in a cup game at Tamworth, but we were short of numbers, so I said I’d play but I didn’t do myself any favours, it just set me back again.

“Now there is no football to worry about at the moment, it’s my aim to get myself fit for when we do kick in again and try to get to that 150 mark. It will happen, I’m just not sure when yet, but it will be nice to do it under Scott.”

Kidsgrove’s board decided a change of manager was the way forward, with the play-offs looking out of reach for this season. Grove were down in 10th spot, nine points shy of the play-off spots when the decision was taken to part company with Austin.

Malbon says he believes the team has been under-achieving.

“We should be doing better than 10th place in the table, considering the players we have at the club. We were certainly under-performing.”

Malbon was at Derby County as a youngster before joining Port Vale in 2009 and made three appearances for the first team before going out on loan deals to Leek Town and then Newcastle Town before a move to Leek became permanent in 2010. He played 25 times for Blues before joining Newcastle Town, scoring 17 times in 26 appearances before being sold to Kidderminster Harriers for a reported initial fee of £7,000.

He made his debut from the bench for Steve Burr’s Harriers in 2012, scoring the first goal in a 2-0 win at Alfreton Town.

Things were going well for him at Kidderminster and he signed a two-year contract in March 2013, having hit a streak of 11 goals in 12 games to send Harriers top of the Conference table. Along with strike partner Michael Gash, he finished the 2012/13 season as the division’s joint third-highest scorers with 19 goals and was named in the Conference team of the year.

A change of manager ended Malbon’s time at Kidderminster and he signed for Stalybridge Celtic in the Conference North where he made five appearances before moving on to join Kidsgrove Athletic in 2014 and he’s been there ever since.

Looking back at his career so far, it’s that successful spell at Kidderminster Harriers which stands out most.

“Yes, that was a great time,” he recalls. “It was probably the best time of my career so far. It was a great club and I was scoring goals and enjoying my football, but things change and I moved on to Stalybridge for a few games before coming to Kidsgrove. I’d like to end my playing career here,” added Malbon who is also part of the workforce which looks after the pitch and general maintenance around the stadium.

“I help out with the pitch, working with Ian Cooper (vice-chairman) and I get on well with the chairman (Mick Fitzjohn) and everyone else at the club, so yes, I’m really enjoying it here,” added Malbon, who also runs Sunday league side Sneyd Green, who went to the top of the Coors Sunday League Premier Division table just days before all grassroots football was suspended.





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