Bottom of the barrel
Today was the traditional pre-season run out at Welling. Nicky Ajose and Lyle Taylor got the goals in a 2-1 win. A crowd of just 1,020, the lowest ever, witnessed it.
Two different sides played each half and included trialists Simon Dawkins and central defender Elliot Ward. Dawkins is an attacking midfielder, aged 30 and has been playing out in the U.S. for San Jose Earthquakes. Before that he did well at Derby. 33-year old Ward has had a string of clubs and was most recently on loan at MK Dons. Blackburn released him after last season. Bowyer said he will make quick decisions on the two, but in my mind these two are typical of the summer-bottom-of-the-barrel signings we have seen under Duchatelet.
Bowyer has said that Monday we could hear of his second summer signing. He has been on the look out for a tough, battle-scarred midfielder and that player is possibly ex-Bolton midfielder Darren Pratley. Released by Phil Parkinson, Pratley, like Ben Amos, was a big earner at The Reebok but wants to move back south after spending 7 years at Bolton, and before that 5 years at Swansea. Pratley was born in Barking.
The on-loan midfielder that Bowyer has been trying to secure is West Ham’s Josh Cullen. The 22-year old was at Bolton for the first half of last season, and then on the periphery of West Ham’s first team. Cullen is the captain of the Republic of Ireland U21 side, coached by a certain Mark Kinsella, and is their current Player of the Year.
Bowyer also hinted today that Igor Vetokele may stay at The Valley, which is handy as we are way short on numbers with just 3 weeks of the transfer window left remembering that the EFL fell in line with the EPL and close the window for permanent signings on August 9th.
Photo credit: Keith Gillard