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Old 01-08-2015, 10:42 PM   #612
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Mon. July 14, 2025

Preseason Friendly
Olympique Lyonnais (France Ligue 1) vs. Dover
OL Land, Decines-Charpieu, France

OL are the defending Champions League winners, having knocked off rivals OM in the finals. Lyonnais also won Ligue 1 for the third time in four years and 8th out of 11 years! Needless to say, they are loaded with talent and are one of the great teams in the game.

We fully rotate our squad after playing just two days earlier. Seeing his first ever Dover start today is 18 year old French goalkeeper Philippe Jung. Otherwise, it’s a good mixture of main starters and rotation players, as we continue to work on our fitness, which hasn’t been great to start the year.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - P. Jung
D - Rafinha, C. Contreras, M. Mutesa, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, E. Harvey, Jose, G. Allan
S - A. Broomes, Z. Bardi

Olympique Lyonnais 2 - 0 Dover
Goals -
Assists -
Man of the Match - Abdelhalim Meddahi (OL midfielder - 8.9)
Other Dover Notables - Rafinha (5.9)
Attendance - 58,028

Wow, we were absolutely hammered here, with OL winning 60% of possession and an outrageous 21-5 (10-2 on target) shot advantage. Rarely do we get handed our lunch like that but it’s proof of how good Olympique Lyonnais truly are. They played a narrow 4-4-2 diamond and it was very effective against us. Abdelhalim Meddahi was incredible - what a player! They’ve also got a very interesting young striker with Moses like speed. As for our club, not much to write home about. Poor young Philippe Jung was under fire all game and acquitted himself very well in a tough environment. Rafinha continues to disappoint.

Transfers OUT

-- Reserves goalkeeper Steven Potter agrees to a contract with Middlesbrough, completing a £650,000 deal with potential clauses added. We picked Potter up on a free in July 2022 after he was released by Manchester United and he played two years with our U18 team before playing extensively with our reserves last year. He never played a senior level game with our club but was part of England’s U21 setup so he might turn out to be a decent player. We wish him the best.

-- We also bid adieu to U18 graduate Vlastimil Silhavy, who departs for Leverkusen in a deal I couldn’t turn down, £1,400,000 with potential clauses as well. We picked Silhavy up on a free last year from Jablonec and he spent the year with the U18s, playing well enough to earn a senior team contract. He even got into our last game of the season and notched an assist, his only game and point for our club. I envisioned him in the “Lyubomir Kunchev” role of third right midfielder but this was an offer I couldn’t turn down. We wish him well - he’s got some intriguing potential but he was never going to realize it with our club.

Loan OUT

-- We come to terms with Recreativo in Ukraine’s top league to take top prospect Emerson on a season-long loan. We get a £350,000 up front fee and they will pay his wages for the season. At this point, he’s blocked by Salim Loucif and newcomer Rodolfo Lopez so this gives me some time to let things settle here - at only 20 years of age, and with 2.5/3.5 talent, he can definitely still be a part of our future. I rejected deals from teams in Spain and Italy because they wouldn’t guarantee him a spot in the first team.

-- Reserves defender Adam Betts agrees to join Championship side Charlton on a season-long loan with an option to buy him for £400,000. He won’t be in our plans so needless to say, I hope they take the purchase option.

-- I also have an agreement to send talented prospect Alberto Velazquez to CS Sedan Ardennes but they can’t come up with the up front fee at the last minute and the deal falls through. UGH. I try to offer him around to other teams once again.

International Update

-- A few of our U18 players take part in the Euro U19 Championship, with England’s Liam Pearce and Marcus Sowter seeing action while Eneko Remirez suited up for Spain.

-- Manuel Perez also suits up for Mexico in the Gold Cup, winning 4-0 and posting the clean sheet.

Contract Extension

-- I’m pleased to get Renato Gaucho signed for an additional four years. The 23 year old left fullback has been a constant since he was 17 years old and we’re delighted to have him around as he gets close to his prime.

Transfer IN

-- We come to terms with 18 year old German left back Ralf Kramer, closing off a £1,200,000 transfer deal with Koln.

Kramer will play for the U18s this year but essentially, he is our replacement for the departed Carlos Guzman and will be our third string left back in case of emergency. He’s a 1.0/3.0 talent and could make his way onto the senior team at some point with proper development.

Next Up

-- We host Scottish club Rangers at Crabble Athletic Ground in a preseason friendly.
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