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. Dan Crane DAN CRANE  :: GOALKEEPER  

 

 

. @dpc2205
. BORN Birmingham
. DoB 2.5.1984
. HEIGHT 6ft 3"
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Popular, experienced stopper who rejoined the Pitmen in October 2015 after a short spell at Brackley Town

The brother of former England rugby union International Jordan Crane and a former trainee at West Bromwich Albion, Tamworth-based Crane failed to make a first team appearance at the Hawthorns and left to join Burton Albion on trial during the summer of 2004. After impressing, Albion signed him up as back-up to the experienced Martin Taylor. However, an injury to the former Derby man saw Crane thrust into the team early on in the season, a position he kept for the remainder of the season

Matt Duke's arrival at Burton saw Crane struggle to hold onto the number one jersey the following season, which saw him loaned out to Conference North side Moor Green in October 2005. He made his Moors debut against the Pitmen the following week, with Hednesford winning 2-1 at landlords Solihull Borough's Damson Park

After returning to Burton, he was placed on the transfer list by Nigel Clough. The January transfer window saw him make a move back into professional football, joining struggling Rushden & Diamonds. He made eight appearances for Diamonds as they finished rock bottom of the Football League and were relegated at the end of the 2005-2006 season

After agreeing a deal at Nene Park for the following season, Crane fell down the pecking order behind Nicky Ayre and was loaned to Conference South high-flyers Lewes for two months, making five appearances for the Rooks

Joined Cambridge United for a short spell after being released by Rushden in January 2007 as a back-up keeper, before doing much the same job in a brief spell at King's Lynn. Returned to the Midlands in late March 2007 by joining Bromsgrove Rovers, where he saw out the season

Crane moved to ambitious Southern League side Corby Town in the summer, but Kevin Wilson's underachieving side struggled in the SPL and Crane made the move to the newly-formed Solihull Moors. At Damson Park, he became the club's undisputed number one, spending two and a half years between the posts for the Blue Square North side

Joined the Pitmen in the summer of 2010, and became the Pitmen's number one as Stuart Brock moved up to assistant manager. Crane went on to become a crucial member of the side, as he played every single minute of every single first team game for the Pitmen in 2010-2011. His shot-stopping and prowess from penalties were a major factor in the Pitmen finishing second in the Zamaretto League Premier, with Crane making saves from penalties at Leamington and Weymouth to earn the side wins on both occasions

Boosted the club by agreeing a new deal with the club for the 2011-2012 season in May 2011, and was once again the club's undisputed number one as the Pitmen made the end of season play-offs  in the Evo-Stik Premier League, losing to Bradford (Park Avenue) in the semi-final. He missed only one game all season after being sent off at Stocksbridge Park Steels, with Kidderminster's Tony Breeden deputising in his absence

A consistent campaign at Keys Park saw Crane rewarded with another deal for the 2012-2013 season, with the Pitmen signing up their undisputed number one in June 2012 . Again, Crane was to prove a bastion of consistency between the sticks for the Pitmen, missing only one game all season after being sent off at Frickley Athletic in December 2012. His penalty saves in the play-off semi-final against AFC Fylde paved the way for the Pitmen's historic final win over FC United of Manchester, and eventual promotion to Skrill North

After signing an extension to his deal in May 2013, Crane started the Skrill North season in commanding form, marshalling a mean Hednesford defence as the Pitmen became the surprise league leaders early on in the campaign. Crane's shot-stopping and experience helped his side to a fourth placed finish in the league, losing in the play-off semi-final to Altrincham. Crane remained the Pitmen's number one for a fifth season in 2014-2015 after agreeing a new deal with the club in June 2014. After a topsy-turvy start for Rob Smith's team, the Pitmen put a superb run of form together in the New Year to lift them into the play-off places. However, woeful luck with injuries saw the Pitmen's form fade and see them end up in eighth place at the end of the season. Crane announced on Twitter at the end of the campaign that it was time for a new challenge, and left the club to link up with league rivals Brackley Town in May 2015

Despite being the club's number one keeper from the start of the 2015-2016 season, Crane was finding the travelling to Northamptonshire difficult up to three times a week, and eventually decided to leave the club in October 2015 after sixteen appearances. With Dave Parton leaving Keys Park on the same day to rejoin Newcastle Town, the smart money was on Bernard McNally re-signing the man he had originally signed for the club back in 2010. And so it proved, as Crane was unveiled as a Hednesford player once again two days later, ahead of the club's Vanarama National League North clash at home to Nuneaton Town

However, Crane's return could not inspire a wretched run of form into the New Year, as new manager Frank Sinclair oversaw a slide down the table and inevitable relegation to the Evo-Stik Premier League. Crane did however make an unusual mark on the season on the very last day at Nuneaton, coming on in the final minutes as a striker after the Pitmen had run out of outfield subs

Despite the Pitmen's relegation, Crane was one of the first players to agree a new deal with the club in May 2016, taking his service into a seventh term and a probable 300th appearance milestone

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TEAM FROM TO FEE PLD SUB GLS
. . West Bromwich Albion 1.7.2002 31.5.2004 Trainee 0 0 0
. . Burton Albion 13.7.2004 9.1.2006 Free 59 10 0
. . Moor Green 20.10.2005 20.11.2005 Loan 10 0 0
. . Rushden & Diamonds 9.1.2006 11.1.2007 Free 8 0 0
. . Lewes 12.10.2006 11.12.2006 Loan 5 0 0
. , Cambridge United 11.1.2007 13.3.2007 Free 0 0 0
. , King's Lynn 13.3.2007 29.3.2007 Free 0 0 0
. , Bromsgrove Rovers 29.3.2007 31.5.2007 Free 7 0 0
. , Corby Town 1.7.2007 5.1.2008 Free N/A N/A N/A
. , Solihull Moors 5.1.2008 19.5.2010 Free 74 4 0
. . Hednesford Town 19.5.2010 30.5.2015 Free 236 0 0
    Brackley Town 30.5.2015 19.10.2015 Free 16 0 0
Hednesford Town 21.10.2015 Present Free 27 3 0
. .  DAN CRANE CAREER TOTAL NIL 442 17 0

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