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CCF Rebooted 24: Matthew Barnes-Homer
CCF Rebooted 24: Matthew Barnes-Homer
Tuesday, 11th Jan 2022 11:53 by AtThePeake

Looking back through the 2011/2012 squad doesn't get any easier as we move onto another sub-par loanee from that season in the shape of Matthew Barnes-Homer.

Position: Striker/Winger

Arrived from: Luton Town (loan)

Played : 2011

Appearances : 5

Goals : 0

Left for: Luton Town (end of loan)

Reading through the list of clubs that Matthew Barnes-Homer has featured for in his career is quite the task, with Rochdale being the 13th club listed on his Wikipedia page despite him being just 23 years old during his short spell at Spotland.

Having been released by Wolverhampton Wanderers aged 18, Barnes-Homer spent the majority of 2004 in the USA, playing for minor league sides Rochester Raging Rhinos, Syracuse Salty Dogs and Virginia Beach Mariners (seriously), prompting a move back to England to join Aldershot Town

After just two appearances for the Shots he began an even more nomadic period in the lower leagues, with the Dudley-born forrward heading to Hednesford Town for one game, then taking in spells at Bromsgrove Rovers, Tividale and Willenhall Town before League Two side Wycome Wanderers took a chance on him in the latter stages of the 2006/2007 campaign.

Three goals in ten appearances weren't enough to convince the Chairboys to hold onto Barnes-Homer and he returned to the Midlands to join National League outfit Kidderminster Harriers where, after a relatively slow first season where he managed just six goals, the striker really found his shooting boots in the 2008/2009 season to find the net 19 times in all competitions.

With that form continuing into the early stages of the following season, Luton were sufficiently impressed by his goalscoring antics and paid a rumoured £75,000 for the services of Barnes-Homer in January of 2010 after a short loan spell at Kennilworth Road where he proved his worth.

Personal issues affected Barnes-Homer in those first few months at Luton and he scored just four times in 23 appearances in the remainder of that season, but he showed his quality at National League level the following season by scoring 16 league goals.

Strangely, he found himself out of favour in the opening weeks of the following campaign, leading to the loan move to Dale, with Steve Eyre having apparently been interested in signing him permanently during the summer.

However, Barnes-Homer looked woefully out of his depth in his short time at Dale. He made his first four appearances from the bench in September and October, usually coming on in a wide position and looking ineffectual and lacking any sort of confidence in front of goal.

For a man who had proven himself to be so prolific in non-league, the step-up in quality appeared too much and Barnes-Homer showed nothing to prove his abilities in his fleeting displays in a Dale shirt.

He was finally handed a start at home to Colchester in October but after a 45 minute display that the previous editor of this site suggested "will go down as one of the poorest seen by a Dale player" he was withdrawn at half-time and didn't feature again before finally having his loan spell ended as soon as was possible on January 1st.

You have to wonder what had happened off the field for Barnes-Homer to have gone from such a prolific goalscorer first at Kidderminster and then at Luton in the previous few seasons, to looking like a park footballer when wearing a Dale shirt in 2011.

After returning to Luton, his contract was cancelled, raising further questions as to what exactly had caused such an immediate loss of form. He resurfaced later in the season at Nuneaton Town for a four game spell before moving to Sweden where he scored five times in an 11 game soujourn with Ostersunds.

Just one year on from such a disastrous loan spell at Dale, Barnes-Homer started to hit the headlines for all the right reasons in non-league once again when he joined Macclesfield Town at the start of the 2012/2013 season. In 37 league appearances that season, Barnes-Homer hit the net 18 times and made headlines with an excellent late brace in a memorable FA Cup win over Championship side Cardiff City at the Moss Rose.

This excellent campaign prompted the ambitious Forest Green Rovers to sign him, but he never settled in Gloucestershire and just 14 months later would return to Macclesfield via short short, unsuccessful spells with Cambridge (1 goal in 15 games) and Whitehawk (0 goals in 9 games) as well as a seven game loan to Tamworth from the U's, where he found the net once.

Barnes-Homer scored 9 times in 30 appearances in the 2014/2015 campaign back at Macc, before leaving to rejoin two more of his former clubs in 2015/2016, failing to find the net in 15 outings for Aldershot and 8 more at Kidderminster. He returned to the USA in 2016 and scored three times in 29 appearances for Wilmington Hammerheads of the USL Championship.

He returned to the UK later that year and played five times for Brackley, scoring once, before heading to Telford in a player-coach role in 2017. He would feature sparingly as a player in four years with the National League North outfit but only departed this Autumn with new manager, former Dale midfield Paul Carden, taking the opportunity to restructure both the playing squad and coaching staff at New Bucks Head.

Photo: Action Images

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