Trio out in Hill’s bid to re­shape

Rochdale Observer - - THE LAUGHING BADGER -

KEITH Hill set about his Jan­uary squad shap­ing this week with three play­ers head­ing out of the exit door.

Portsmouth had al­ready let the cat out of the bag on Andy Can­non’s switch to Frat­ton Park and the move was con­firmed by Dale on Wed­nes­day.

The 22-year-old, who was due to be out of con­tract at Dale this sum­mer, has joined Pom­pey for an undis­closed fee be­lieved to be in the re­gion of £150,000 with add ons.

Can­non, a Rochdale Academy grad­u­ate, made his pro­fes­sional de­but in Septem­ber 2014, and has gone on to make nearly 130 ap­pear­ances for Hill’s side since then.

Mean­while, left-back Sam Hart has re­turned to his par­ent club, Black­burn Rovers, and the con­tract of Bren­dan Moore has been ter­mi­nated by mu­tual con­sent to al­low him to re­turn home to Amer­ica.

On Can­non’s move to the south coast, Hill said: “It’s foot­ball and the lan­guage we speak, and it’s the busi­ness that we do at this foot­ball club.

“Andy has found it dif­fi­cult for most of this sea­son to be avail­able for se­lec­tion due to one or two nig­gling in­juries and he hasn’t spent an aw­ful lot of time on the train­ing pitch but we al­ways knew there was an in­ter­est from Portsmouth. When we played them in the league and in the FA Cup, I got a phone call straight af­ter the game from Kenny Jack­ett to see if we were will­ing to do busi­ness.

“I said yes, as long as Portsmouth met the club’s val­u­a­tion on Andy.

“It’s the busi­ness that the foot­ball club does to make sure that its fu­ture is se­cure.

“Andy has done bril­liantly for us. I re­mem­ber his de­but away at Ley­ton Ori­ent like it was yes­ter­day, the cel­e­bra­tions af­ter that game were amaz­ing.

“He burst onto the scene with no fear, and for the re­main­der of that sea­son when Andy played as an as­sertive at­tack­ing right-back, I thought there were some ex­cep­tional per­for­mances.

“It’s a great op­por­tu­nity for him to go to Portsmouth, and that’s what I want as a man­ager.

“If I lead young play­ers into the foot­ball league, I want them to be am­bi­tious and I want them to play at the top of the tree, with re­spect to their own ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

“Andy has an un­be­liev­able op­por­tu­nity to go and work for Kenny Jack­ett and for a mas­sive club in Portsmouth so I hope he takes it. I wish him all the best.”

On the de­par­tures of Hart and Moore, Hill com­mented: “I must thank Sam. He is a great lad and he has been a real plea­sure to work with. I wish him ev­ery suc­cess in his foot­balling fu­ture.

“Bren­dan’s de­ci­sion came out of the blue but I’ve lis­tened to him, and from a com­pas­sion­ate point of view, I un­der­stand his de­sires and I won’t stand in his way.

“There is a cer­tain amount of brav­ery to come and knock on my door and ex­plain how things have ma­te­ri­alised, so I re­spect and ad­mire for him that.

“He’s been play­ing first team foot­ball but emo­tion­ally and due to his fam­ily ties, he has come to the de­ci­sion that wants to go back home and forge a ca­reer in the USA. I’ve re­luc­tantly agreed to that be­cause it’s the right thing to do for Bren­dan.

“I’d like to thank him for ev­ery­thing he has done for us and wish him all the best for the fu­ture.”

Si­mon Hall

●●Andy Can­non has left Rochdale to join League One ri­vals Portsmouth

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