Mitch Hancox

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Mitch Hancox
Mitch Hancox, preseason against Antwerp.jpg
With Birmingham City in 2012 pre-season
Personal information
Full name Mitchell John Hancox[1]
Date of birth (1993-11-09) 9 November 1993 (age 22)[2]
Place of birth Solihull, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[3]
Playing position Left back
Club information
Current team
Birmingham City
Number 12
Youth career
2001–2012 Birmingham City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012– Birmingham City 33 (0)
2015–2016 Crawley Town (loan) 15 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12:35, 3 January 2016 (UTC).

† Appearances (goals)

Mitchell John "Mitch" Hancox (born 9 November 1993) is an English footballer who plays for Birmingham City. A left back who can also play on the wing, he made his Football League debut in October 2012.

Early life[edit]

Hancox was born in Solihull, West Midlands.[4] He has three older brothers; the eldest, Matthew, was seriously wounded in 2011 while serving in Afghanistan with the Royal Marines.[5] Hancox was recruited into Birmingham City's youth system at the age of eight after being noticed playing in a six-a-side competition.[6] As a youngster, he was a Birmingham City supporter, and particularly admired full-backs Jeff Kenna and Martin Grainger and wing-back Stan Lazaridis.[6]

While still a 15-year-old Lyndon School student, he played for Birmingham's reserve team. He was picked out as "one of the bright spots of the evening from a home perspective" in a heavy defeat to Arsenal in the 2009–10 Premier Reserve League,[7][8] and described by then Academy manager Terry Westley as "one of the few players to come out with any credit" from a defeat to Leamington in the Birmingham Senior Cup.[9] On leaving school, he began a two-year scholarship in July 2010.[1]

Career[edit]

Birmingham City[edit]

His first competitive involvement with Birmingham City's first team came when he was an unused substitute for the 2011–12 Europa League play-off round second leg against Nacional.[10] Hancox signed his first professional contract, of six months, in May 2012,[11] and was given a first-team squad number in August of that year.[4]

Hancox made his competitive debut in the 1–0 home defeat by Huddersfield Town in the Championship on 6 October, as an 80th-minute substitute for the injured Curtis Davies.[12] He played at left back, allowing Paul Robinson to move to centre back, and according to the Birmingham Mail, "can be pleased with his urgent and determined contribution in the last 10 minutes. He's only on a six-month contract but would sweat blood for his boyhood club."[13] A few days later, he was given a six-month extension to his contract.[14] When Robinson took over from Steven Caldwell as first-choice centre back, Hancox was able to establish himself at left back.[15] He ended the season with 20 appearances, including 14 starts,[16] and signed a new three-year contract.[17]

With David Murphy still recovering from injury, Hancox hoped to establish himself as first choice at left back,[18] but a bruised testicle sustained in training and the loan signing of Shane Ferguson obstructed his progress.[19] His first appearance of the season was in mid-September, as a substitute with Birmingham already 3–0 down at Burnley, followed by two League Cup ties, the second of which, at home to Stoke City, was 4–4 after extra time. Hancox volunteered to take the first penalty in the shootout, but his powerful kick struck the top of the crossbar and went over; Birmingham went on to lose the shootout.[20][21] A run of games in November was halted by a knee injury,[22] and ankle damage put an end to another run in the new year.[23] He returned for the last few matches of the season, with Birmingham in danger of relegation. Needing at least a point from the final fixture, at Bolton Wanderers and for other results to go in their favour, Hancox came on at half-time, and two minutes after Bolton took a two-goal lead, he crossed for Nikola Žigić to score with a header. Well into stoppage time, Paul Caddis scored the equaliser that kept Birmingham in the second tier.[24]

In the 2014 close season, Lee Clark signed left-back Jonathan Grounds, who was almost ever-present under the management both of Clark and his successor Gary Rowett.[25] Hancox played only one first-team match in 2014–15, in the FA Cup against Blyth Spartans,[26] but he was a member of the 2015 Birmingham Senior Cup-winning team, consisting mainly of reserve-team players but also including first-teamers Matt Green and Žigić, making his last appearance for the club.[27]

Crawley Town (loan)[edit]

After just one League Cup appearance in 2015–16, Hancox joined League Two club Crawley Town on a month's loan on 2 October 2015.[28] He went straight into the starting eleven for the next day's visit to Plymouth Argyle, which Crawley lost 2–1 to a very late goal.[29] In his second League Two match, at home to Leyton Orient, he scored his first senior goal. The score was 1–1 when Orient's goalkeeper Alex Cisak put the ball behind from Hancox's cross. Hancox himself took the corner, and when it was cleared he hit the loose ball past Cisak at his near post. He then made the pass that put Rhys Murphy through on goal, Murphy was fouled for a penalty that put Crawley two goals ahead, and the team held on for a 3–2 win.[30] After he started all seven of Crawley's matches during his first month with the club, his loan was extended for a second month,[31] and then a third.[32]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 2 January 2016
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Birmingham City 2012–13[16] Championship 19 0 1 0 0 0 20 0
2013–14[20] Championship 14 0 2 0 2 0 18 0
2014–15[26] Championship 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
2015–16[33] Championship 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
Total 33 0 4 0 3 0 40 0
Crawley Town 2015–16[33] League Two 15 2 0 0 1[a] 0 16 2
Career total 48 2 4 0 3 0 1 0 56 2
  1. ^ Appearance in Football League Trophy

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "List of Players Registered as Scholars in Accordance with Rule C.3 Between 01/07/2010 and 31/07/2010" (PDF). The Football Association. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Mitchell Hancox". UEFA. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Mitch Hancox". Birmingham City F.C. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Hancox handed squad number". Birmingham City F.C. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Evans, Gregg (30 May 2013). "The Big Interview: Mitch Hancox now living the dream after family nightmare". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Tattum, Colin (26 July 2012). "I want to be a Blues first-teamer for a long time to come – Mitch Hancox". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "Westley: It was a tough night". Birmingham City F.C. 1 September 2009. Archived from the original on 5 September 2009. 
  8. ^ "Sporty Ex Students" (PDF). Newsletter Issue 105. Lyndon School. May 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Westley on Senior Cup exit". Birmingham City F.C. 17 November 2009. 
  10. ^ "UEFA Europa League 2012: Birmingham–Nacional". UEFA. 7 January 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Mitch signs-up". Birmingham City F.C. 26 May 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  12. ^ "Blues 0 Huddersfield 1". Birmingham City F.C. 6 October 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  13. ^ Tattum, Colin (8 October 2012). "Birmingham City 0 Huddersfield Town 1". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  14. ^ Walker, Andy (9 October 2012). "Young pair pen extensions". Birmingham City F.C. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  15. ^ Tattum, Colin (25 April 2013). "Blues secure future of youngsters". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Games played by Mitch Hancox in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Mitch signs up". Birmingham City F.C. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  18. ^ Evans, Gregg (20 June 2013). "Mitch Hancox aims to play regularly for Birmingham City". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  19. ^ Tattum, Colin (15 August 2013). "Mitchell Hancox: 'I want to try and play 40 games in the season.'". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  20. ^ a b "Games played by Mitch Hancox in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  21. ^ Tattum, Colin (1 November 2013). "Mitch Hancox admits spot-kick agony will haunt him for some time". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  22. ^ Tattum, Colin (8 December 2013). "Mitch Hancox to have scan on injured knee". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  23. ^ Tattum, Colin (6 March 2014). "Birmingham City's Mitch Hancox out for a minimum of six weeks". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  24. ^ Hart, Simon (3 May 2014). "Bolton 2 Birmingham 2 match report: Paul Caddis gets Birmingham out of jail". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  25. ^ Dick, Brian (18 May 2015). "Latest Blues player heads for the exit door". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  26. ^ a b "Games played by Mitch Hancox in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  27. ^ Lewis, Peter (20 April 2015). "Blues win the Senior Cup". Birmingham City F.C. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  28. ^ Talbot, Bruce (2 October 2015). "Reds sign a Blue". Crawley Town F.C. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  29. ^ Talbot, Bruce (3 October 2015). "Report: Plymouth 2 Reds 1". Crawley Town F.C. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  30. ^ Sessions, George (10 October 2015). "10-man Orient on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller at Crawley". Docklands & East London Advertiser. Retrieved 10 October 2015. 
  31. ^ "Mitch Hancox: Crawley Town extend defender's loan". BBC Sport. 2 November 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  32. ^ "Mitch Hancox extends Crawley stay". Birmingham City F.C. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  33. ^ a b "Games played by Mitch Hancox in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 

External links[edit]