Sat. July 9, 2022
-- We play our annual intrasquad game between our reserves/backups and our U18 team.
Dover 3 - 0 Dover U18
Dover Goals - Kostas Kalfas (8.1), Rogelio Garcia (7.8), Shaun Spall (8.0)
Dover Assists - Mancini (7.1), Cameron Murray (7.3)
Man of the Match - Kostas Kalfas
Other Notables: Jozef Kuciak (7.2), Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz (7.7), Paulus Tjiuoro (7.4), Carlos Guzman (7.0)
U18 Goals -
U18 Assists -
Other U18 Notables - Garry Doyle (5.9), Ben Lee (5.6), Mario Lennon (5.8)
-- The senior team rolled to a 3-0 lead after 35 minutes then stepped off the gas. Nobody got hurt and that's the most important thing.
-- We get an offer we can't refuse on a young centre halfback and it's 20 year old Abdallaye Kokaina
leaving for SK Rapid Wien in Austria in a £6 million transfer. I picked up Kokaina in July 2020 amid a flurry of moves that saw us pick up fellow DCs Thomas Andersen
, Cristian Rodriguez
, and Paulus Tjiuoro
as we looked to overhaul a weak middle portion of our defence. Kokaina played that first year on our U18 squad and was on the senior team last year but only played three games for the senior team, as he was always the fourth choice behind Rayane Hamon
, Claudio Contreras
and Tjiuoro. With young Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz
getting promoted from the U18s this year, Kokaina is surplus to requirements and I'm elated to get six million for him.
-- Olympique Lyonnais want Arsene Bamba
but he's not for sale. Bamba is upset and wants a bigger contract but we have a chat and he's content with the same wage for now.
World Cup Final
-- Mexico defeat Argentina 2-0 to win the 2022 World Cup! After the game, a bunch of managers step down from their posts and for the first time that I can recall, the Canadian and England jobs are available. Hmm. I've read enough dynasties in the past to know that it's practically impossible to do both jobs at the same time so I decide against applying for the positions.
-- Enrique wins the Golden Ball for his performance with Spain and also wins the Golden Boot, scoring 11 goals in the competition. Man United's young Brazilian midfielder Rogerio wins the Best Young Player award and GK Antonio takes home the Golden Glove for his fine play for Holland.
-- We are pleased to welcome 24 year old Scottish wide midfielder Graham Allan
to Dover in a £7.5 million deal with Blackburn.
Allan, who has received 10 caps for Scotland at the highest level, spent two years with Blackburn and is coming off a fine season where he scored 9 goals and added 9 assists in 32 appearances. He's been all over the place and I guess that's a bit of a concern but he has blazing speed and is extremely versatile, with the ability to play on both wings AND can play striker in a pinch. He should work well in our system and likely will be an upgrade over young Kostas Kalfas
-- We finally get a work permit approved for 24 year old Mexican international goalkeeper Manuel Perez
Perez is a four star player already and has played 16 games at the highest level for Mexico, including a couple games in their recent World Cup championship victory. I don't expect him to snare the starting job away from Ingo Wilke
in year one but I'll bring him along slowly and hope that in a year or two he can make a larger impact. This is the latest in a line of goalkeepers who have tried and ultimately failed to unseat Wilke but I think Perez is the best of the bunch.
-- We move DC Thomas Andersen
to Middlesbrough in a £4.7 million deal. Andersen is a 5'10" centre halfback who is slow, a pretty poor size/speed combination to be honest. He's extremely determined and will work his butt off and likely succeed but ultimately, he wasn't in my plans and it was an easy deal to make. Andersen played 10 games for us in 2020/21, scoring one goal and adding an assist and he spent the last two years on loan, with separate spells at Burnley in the Championship and with Getafe in LIGA BBVA. Good luck to Thomas. Andersen's former club, AZ, will receive £850,000 over the next 24 months due to a 40% sell-on clause I had in my deal with them a couple years back.
-- A 24 year old D(RC) rejects my offer and signs with Chelsea. Back to the drawing board.
-- OK, now this just isn't fair. It's an embarrassment of riches for us at the striker position, as we complete a £7.5 million deal to bring Algerian international ML/ST Said Henni
over from Anderlecht, a former strike partner of Chiquinho's
Henni is equally adept playing left midfield, attacking left midfield and striker and has scored 31 goals in 55 appearances for Algeria in international play. He played five seasons with Anderlecht, scoring 76 goals in 135 league games. He's got world class ability and is rated 4-4.5 stars by all my coaches and scouts. Like the addition of Chiquinho, my marketing manager indicates that this signing will mean plenty of jersey sales and extra revenue for the club. I expect Henni to get approximately 30 starts playing either left wing or striker as he learns the English language and attempts to settle into the club. This is a great signing! At 27 years old, this player is meant to help us right away but with Andrea, Chiquinho, Bardi, Moses, Gesios and Rooney already on the team, someone will have to go…
-- And with the Henni deal, I decide to move Giorgos Gesios
out on loan to Sevilla, getting a nice loan fee of £4.1 million in the process. Sevilla will also pay Gesios' salary for the whole season and I believe there is a clause for them to purchase him at any point for around £13 million or so. I would have preferred moving him out completely but this is a nice compromise.
Dover U18 Team Update
-- I sign four players for our youth squad, all on free transfers. They all have decent potential (between 1.5 to 2.5 stars) but there is nothing here other than depth as we look to continue our success in the U18 league.
-- Juventus make a £15 million bid for Salim Loucif
. Yikes. It's swiftly rejected but that's very close to his £18.5 million minimum release clause so they could get him if they really want him.