Pratley extends contract
Darren Pratley was Lee Bowyer’s second signing (his first was Lyle Taylor, so not a bad first couple of picks), and the 34-year has been an exceptional force on and off the pitch in his time in SE7. His performances and fitness at the latter stages of last season, especially in the play-off’s, were exceptional and he’s started this season in the same vein.
Today Pratley signed a years contract extension taking him to June 2021. Our most experienced player alongside Bowyer and Jackson must be an inspiration for our roster of excellent young midfielders.
Meanwhile Bowyer quelled any rumours that his ‘project’ Macauley Bonne will be going out on loan to Ipswich or anywhere else as the manager wants to keep the ex-O’s striker close to the first team squad.
Our squad maybe more robust than in other years, but with Bow keen to rotate, I’d rather us keep the numbers together.
One area we are short is right back and Adam Matthews has joined Tyrone Mears on trial. Matthews was released from Sunderland in the summer, and hasn’t played much football in the past two seasons. The Welshman came through the ranks at Cardiff and then played over 100 games for Celtic.
Pratley is excellent cover for both central defence and defensive midfield probably mainly used off the subs bench. He seems happy at CAFC which helps, experienced players who pull their weight are always useful as a positive influence on younger colleagues. Are Mears or Matthews the answer to our right back situation?. Osalaji played very well against Notts F. so could be the answer if we signed another versatile defender,New recruit to the U23s Luca Vega is very promising but is left sided and needs more time. I felt that against Notts F a back three with wing backs may have worked in the second half as the wing backs would have bolstered the tiring midfield.So if we recruit a full back he should be capable of also playing the wing back role, would 36 year old Mears be able to do that?