A fitting headline in more ways than one this, as the signing of Matt Kilgallon has seen Rovers fans exihibit many of the same traits exalted by residents when a killer loose in the neighbourhood is captured. Joy, relief that the ordeal is over (ordeal in this case represented by two week’s worth of messagboard rumour-mongering), and a resolution and determination to return to normality.
Loose metaphoring aside, this is of course the news that Rovers have signed Sunderland defender Matt Kilgallon on loan for the remainder of the season. A long-time Yorkshire Championship stalwart Kilgallon began his career with Leeds United, before a significant move to Sheffield United in 2007. The one-time England under 21 international made over 100 appearances for the Blades prior to joining Sunderland in January.
Unable to secure a first team berth at the Stadium of Light, Kilgallon has already had a spell on loan at Middlesbrough this season, but is likely to have much more of an impact at Rovers. Sean O’Driscoll has had an unfortunate run of defensive injuries witharguably his first choice centre-half pairing of Wayne Thomas and Shelton Martis out for much of the first half of the season, and full-backs James Chambers and George Friend missing for almost its entirety. Hopefully Kilgallon, plus the return to fitness of Chambers will help give Rovers a settled back-line which could make all the difference in a division as tight as the Championship.
Kilgallon’s arrival is not the only player movement at the club today, with Rovers also releasing two members of the squad. Simon Whaley, who joined the club on a non-contract basis in November, has been let go. The former Preston winger had been training with the club for a short while before signing, but has failed to make the first team squad since joining Rovers and will now seek employment elsewhere.
Also leaving the club today is youth team graduate Robbie Clark. A promising midfielder Clark featured in Rovers pre-season preperations, but has only taken to the field once in the season, playing in the Carling Cup defeat to Acrington Stanley. The remainder of the player’s contract has been cancelled by mutual consent and hopefully it won’t take him long to find a club. A clever and neat player Clark has always impressed me when I’ve seen him in action and hopefully it won’t be long before he’s taking to the field with a new football league club.