Matt’s Monologue: Tranmere’s Obscure Internationals

Tranmere’s Lois Maynard is this week maintaining the club’s fine recent tradition of fielding players from the Caribbean.

The midfielder is away on international duty with St Kitts and Nevis as they prepare for a Continental Qualifier against Haiti in Basseterre.

He was first picked for his country after moving to Prenton Park from Halifax just over a year ago, and has gone on to play a key role for the country, particularly at centre half.

Of course, he follows Ian Goodison and Theo Whitmore in representing a Caribbean country whilst with Tranmere, as they both played for Jamaica during Brian Little’s spell in charge (Paul Hall was of course at the club at the same time, but he won his final cap in 2002).

Maynard though is far from the only obscure international Rovers have had on their books in recent years.

I will start with a man I am sure many of you have forgotten, who was signed by Ronnie Moore back in 2007.

Adnan Ahmed joined Tranmere from Huddersfield on a free transfer, and there was plenty of hype around him upon his arrival.

“We can bring the best out of him,” Moore said, adding “he looked like he was going to be a world beater” when he first broke into first team football.

Sadly, Ahmed’s career at Prenton Park was brief. He actually stayed on the Wirral for two years, but managed just seven appearances, finding the likes of John Mullin and Paul McClaren ahead of him in the pecking order.

However, he did enough to earn a call up to the Pakistan squad for the first time, making his debut in October 2007 as they were beaten 7-0 by Iraq in a World Cup qualifier.

Next up is another player who had a somewhat underwhelming Tranmere career.

Gunnar Neilsen joined the club on loan from Manchester City when Les Parry was in charge, with fans hoping he would be as good as the last ‘keeper to join on a temporary deal from the Etihad Stadium.

Sadly, the Faroe Islands international did not live up to Joe Hart’s performances. In fact, he played just two league games for the club before being bombed out to be replacement by, initially, Joe Collister, and latterly Tony Warner.

However, those appearances were separated by a call up by his country, playing in matches against Serbia, Italy and Scotland. Unfortunately, he conceded 11 goals across the three games.

After leaving Tranmere, he went on to play for Motherwell and Silkeberg (Denmark), and last season won the Icelandic title with Fimleikafelag Hafnarfjaroar (I copied and pasted that).

Finally, I cannot let this article pass without mentioning the “infamous” Kithson Bain, a John Barnes signing in 2009.

The striker arrived at Prenton Park amidst plenty of excitement, mainly due to how much he was talked up by his manager, but also after finishing top scorer in the Caribbean Cup with five goals.

Unfortunately, after joining on a one year deal, he struggled to impress, particularly after Barnes was sacked, with Les Parry actually sending Bain out on loan to Kettering.

Indeed, after failing to score in a Tranmere shirt, he was released in May 2010, but he did represented Grenada whilst contracted to Tranmere.

He has since returned to the Caribbean, playing for Anchor Queen’s Park Rangers and Alpha United Georgetown. He spent last year with Happy Hill FC in his homeland.

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