Lee Novak

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Lee Novak
Personal information
Full name Lee Paul Novak[1]
Date of birth (1988-09-28) 28 September 1988 (age 25)[1]
Place of birth Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[1]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Birmingham City
Number 12
Youth career
Wallsend Boys Club
Gretna
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2007 Gretna 0 (0)
2007–2008 Newcastle Blue Star 47 (29)
2008–2009 Gateshead 18 (16)
2009–2013 Huddersfield Town 144 (34)
2009 Gateshead (loan) 14 (10)
2013– Birmingham City[a] 38 (9)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 09:05, 4 May 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Lee Paul Novak (born 28 September 1988) is an English professional footballer who plays for Birmingham City. He plays mainly as a striker.

A former youth team player for Wallsend Boys Club, he began his senior career with Scottish club Gretna, before returning to his hometown with non-league side Newcastle Blue Star. He joined Gateshead for £3,000 in 2008. He won a £150,000 move to Huddersfield Town in January 2009, though immediately returned to Gateshead on loan and helped the club to promotion out of the Conference North as he ended the 2008–09 season as the division's top-scorer. He helped the "Terriers" to win promotion out of League One with victory in the 2012 play-off final.

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Born in Newcastle upon Tyne,[1] he grew up supporting Newcastle United.[3] Novak played for Wallsend Boys Club, a well respected youth side.[4] Novak started his senior career with Scottish side Gretna, before returning to Newcastle to play in the Northern Premier League for Newcastle Blue Star in August 2007, alongside former Gretna teammates Daniel Lawson, Darren Casson and David Nicholls.[5] He scored a hat-trick for Blue Star in a game against Ossett Albion.[6] Whilst with Blue Star he had unsuccessful trials with Stockport County and Preston North End.[7] He was transfer-listed by his own request in July 2008 after scoring 27 goals in the 2007–08 season.[8] He considered moving to Australia, before he was eventually signed by Conference North side Gateshead for £3,500 plus another player (a 10% sell-on clause was also inserted).[7][9]

Gateshead[edit]

Novak impressed for Ian Bogie's Gateshead, notably scoring four first-half goals in a 5–2 win over Hyde United at Ewen Fields on 1 November, which included a record breaking three-minute hat-trick.[10] Eighteen days later he claimed another hat-trick in a 3–2 victory over King's Lynn at the Gateshead International Stadium.[11] He was named as the Conference North player of the month in November 2008.[12] Huddersfield Town manager Lee Clark signed Novak in January 2009 after Novak had scored 17 goals in 21 games for Gateshead in the first part of the 2008–09 season; the deal was an initial £50,000, which would rise by another £100,000 if he met appearance targets at Huddersfield.[9][13] As part of the deal, he returned to Gateshead on loan until the end of the season. Novak agreed to join Huddersfield after resisting numerous approaches by Scunthorpe United manager Nigel Adkins, who made a bid of £90,000.[14][15]

Novak made a further 17 appearances, scoring 11 goals, and helped the "Heed" to the Conference North play-off final. Novak played in the final as winger Wayne Phillips scored the only goal in the 1–0 win over AFC Telford United to promote Gateshead to the Conference National.[16] Novak finished the season as top-scorer in the Conference North with 26 league goals. At the end of the season he was voted the club's Player of the Year.[17]

Huddersfield Town[edit]

In July 2009, he gained media attention after being involved with a punch-up with Fabricio Coloccini in a pre-season friendly against Newcastle United.[18] The fight occurred at the end of a what was described as a "feisty game" that Newcastle manager Chris Hughton said demonstrated the "competitiveness" of both sides.[19] He made his debut for Huddersfield as a substitute in a 2–2 draw against Southend United at Roots Hall on 8 August 2009, where he set up the equalising goal.[20] He made his first competitive start three days later in a 3–1 win over Stockport County in the League Cup.[21] On 18 August, he scored his first goal (a penalty) for the "Terriers", in a 7–1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.[22] He secured a regular place in the starting 11 alongside Jordan Rhodes. He scored in four consecutive League One games from 24 November to 12 December, claiming goals against Swindon Town, Tranmere Rovers, Leeds United, and Gillingham.[23][24][25][26] He suffered a knee injury during a game against Norwich City on 13 March, forcing him to miss Huddersfield's next five games.[27] Novak returned to action with three stoppage time goals in four appearances off the bench including the winning goal against Walsall, a penalty during stoppage time in a 6–0 away win over Stockport County, and a last minute winner over Colchester United in a 2–1 win on 1 May, the last game of the season at the Galpharm Stadium.[28][29][30] Novak finished the season with 12 league goals in 38 league games as Huddersfield reached the play-off semi-finals, where they were beaten by Millwall.[31] He was the club's third top-scorer with 14 goals in all competitions, behind Jordan Rhodes (23) and Theo Robinson (16). At the end of the season he signed a contract extension to keep him at the club until summer 2013.[32]

He missed the midpoint of the 2010–11 season with a torn hamstring.[33] He was limited to five goals in 15 starts and 24 substitute appearances, and played both legs of the play-off semi-final victory over Bournemouth, converting his penalty in the shoot-out victory.[34] He was an unused substitute in the play-off final defeat to Peterborough United at Old Trafford; Benik Afobe started the game, whilst strikers Danny Cadamarteri, Jordan Rhodes and Alan Lee all featured as substitutes.[35]

Novak had a full pre-season with no injury problems going into the 2011–12 season. He made his first start of the season in the League Cup First Round 4–2 win over Port Vale at Vale Park on 9 August, scoring twice to help the "Terriers" progress into the next round.[36] Keeping his first team place under the transition of managers from Lee Clark to Simon Grayson, he scored a total of 17 goals in 49 appearances throughout the campaign, and started the play-off final victory over Sheffield United, before being substituted shortly before the penalty shoot-out.[37]

After promotion to the Championship, Novak struggled for form, but did make some telling contributions in the 2012–13 campaign, particularly in the final two games against Bristol City and Barnsley, which helped the club to avoid relegation.[38][39] He left the club when his contract expired at the end of June 2013, after rejecting a new deal that had been on the table since October 2012.[40]

Birmingham City[edit]

In May 2013, Novak agreed a deal to join Birmingham City to reunite himself with his former Huddersfield manager Lee Clark.[41] He scored his first goal in Birmingham colours in a 4–0 defeat of Shamrock Rovers while on pre-season tour in Ireland,[42] and made his competitive debut in a 1–0 defeat at home to Watford on the opening day of the season.[43] Novak was retrospectively awarded his first league goal after being adjudged to have got the last touch on a Nikola Žigić header in a 2–1 defeat to Bolton Wanderers.[2]

Style of play[edit]

On signing Novak in January 2009, Huddersfield manager Lee Clark said that "he has good awareness and he brings other people into the game. He has a fantastic work ethic... having talked with him he is the type of character that wants to learn and become a better player."[44] Two years later, Clark said he had no problem with asking Novak to play in an unfamiliar role because "his attitude and application are always spot-on".[45] After joining Birmingham, Novak was used on the left wing, in support of a lone striker, as well as in his preferred central position.[citation needed]

Club statistics[edit]

As of end of 2013–14 season
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Gateshead 2008–09[46] Conference North 32 26 0 0 0 0 6[b] 2 38 28
Huddersfield Town 2008–09[47] League One 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009–10[48] League One 37 12 3 2 1 0 4[c] 0 45 14
2010–11[49] League One 31 5 1 0 2 0 5[d] 0 39 5
2011–12[50] League One 41 13 1 1 2 2 5[e] 1 49 17
2012–13[51] Championship 35 4 3 2 1 0 0 0 39 6
Total 144 34 8 5 6 2 14 1 172 42
Birmingham City 2013–14[43] Championship 38 9[a] 2 1 3 1 0 0 43 11
Career totals 214 69 10 6 9 3 20 3 259 81
  1. ^ a b Birmingham's goal in the 2–1 defeat to Bolton Wanderers on 5 October, originally credited to Nikola Žigić, was retrospectively awarded to Novak.[2]
  2. ^ Two appearances one goal in Conference League Cup, one appearance in FA Trophy, three appearances one goal in Conference North play-offs
  3. ^ Two appearances in Football League Trophy, two in Football League One play-offs
  4. ^ Three appearances in Football League Trophy, two in Football League One play-offs
  5. ^ Two appearances one goal in Football League Trophy, three appearances in Football League One play-offs

Honours[edit]

Individual

with Gateshead

with Huddersfield Town

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 311. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0. 
  2. ^ a b "Credit goes to Novak". Birmingham City F.C. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Novak eager for Terriers victory". BBC Sport. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Huddersfield Town: Lee Novak interview". Yorkshire Evening Post. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Pratt, Malcolm (17 August 2007). "New ball game for Star". Evening Chronicle. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Bowron, Jeff. "No way back as Novak attacks!". Evening Chronicle. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Blue Star hit back on Lee Novak". Evening Chronicle. 6 February 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Pratt, Malcolm (2 July 2008). "Star struck by blow as Novak is listed". Evening Chronicle. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Bowron, eff (3 February 2009). "Gateshead's delight as hitman Novak makes all the Huddlines". Evening Chronicle. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Novak Record as Gateshead Tame Tigers". gateshead-fc.com. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Gateshead 3 – 2 Kings Lynn". gateshead-fc.com. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Burton's Buxton claims accolade". BBC Sport. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "Media Watch – Gateshead receive Terriers transfer boost". Gateshead F.C. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  14. ^ "Iron still keen on signing Novak". BBC Sport. 26 January 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Chase for Novak hots up". Evening Chronicle. 27 January 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Gateshead 1–0 AFC Telford Utd". BBC Sport. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Golden boy Lee Novak scores with top awards". Evening Chronicle. 28 April 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "FA to look into brawl at friendly". BBC Sport. 23 July 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2009. 
  19. ^ Wilson, Steve (22 July 2009). "Newcastle friendly at Huddersfield turns ugly as Lee Novak clashes with Fabricio Coloccini". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  20. ^ "Southend 2–2 Huddersfield". BBC Sport. 8 August 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  21. ^ "Huddersfield 3 – 1 Stockport". BBC Sport. 11 August 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  22. ^ "Huddersfield 7–1 Brighton". BBC Sport. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  23. ^ "Swindon 2 – 1 Huddersfield". BBC Sport. 24 November 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  24. ^ "Huddersfield 3 – 3 Tranmere". BBC Sport. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  25. ^ Swanson, Will (5 December 2009). "Leeds United 2 Huddersfield Town 2: match report". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  26. ^ "Huddersfield 2 – 1 Gillingham". BBC Sport. 12 December 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  27. ^ "Huddersfield 1 – 3 Norwich". BBC Sport. 13 March 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  28. ^ "Huddersfield 4 – 3 Walsall". BBC Sport. 13 April 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  29. ^ "Stockport 0 – 6 Huddersfield". BBC Sport. 24 April 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  30. ^ "Huddersfield 2 – 1 Colchester". BBC Sport. 1 May 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  31. ^ Ashdown, John (18 May 2010). "Millwall sink Huddersfield to seal final showdown with Swindon". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  32. ^ "Lee Novak pens Huddersfield Town contract extension". BBC Sport. 4 July 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  33. ^ "Huddersfield Town sign Arsenal striker Benik Afobe". BBC Sport. 2 November 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  34. ^ Ashdown, John (18 May 2011). "Huddersfield beat Bournemouth on penalties to reach League One play-off final". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  35. ^ "Huddersfield 0 – 3 Peterborough". BBC Sport. 29 May 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  36. ^ "Port Vale 2–4 Huddersfield". BBC Sport. 9 August 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  37. ^ "Huddersfield 0 – 0 Sheffield United". BBC Sport. 26 May 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  38. ^ "Bristol City 1 – 3 Huddersfield". BBC Sport. 27 April 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  39. ^ "Huddersfield 2 Barnsley 2: Celebrations all round as both teams safe with Tykes keeper Steele keeping the ball in his area for the last TWO MINUTES to send Posh down". Daily Mail. 4 May 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  40. ^ "Lee Novak set for Huddersfield Town exit". BBC Sport. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  41. ^ "Birmingham sign Huddersfield Town striker". BBC Sport. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  42. ^ Walker, Andy (8 July 2013). "The Report: Shamrock Rovers 0 Blues 4". Birmingham City F.C. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  43. ^ a b "Games played by Lee Novak in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  44. ^ "Terriers complete Novak signing". BBC Sport. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  45. ^ "Attitude and application make Novak so popular". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. 18 January 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  46. ^ "Gateshead FC 2008/09". Unofficial Gateshead Football Club Statistics Database. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  47. ^ "Games played by Lee Novak in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  48. ^ "Games played by Lee Novak in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  49. ^ "Games played by Lee Novak in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  50. ^ "Games played by Lee Novak in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  51. ^ "Games played by Lee Novak in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 

External links[edit]