Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Saturday July 15 2006
In comments reminiscent of this time last year and Johan Boskamp's attempts to bring in new talent, Tony Pulis has asked fans to be patient as he goes in search of new blood.
Whilst Stoke have been fortunate that a large number of the first team squad have current contracts, Vincent Pericard is the only new signing yet to have appeared at the Britannia Stadium with three weeks to go to the first match of the new season.
Pulis has stated that he needs a new reserve keeper to challenge Steve Simonsen for the back spot and feels that Academy keeper, Rob Duggan is not yet up to the task.
Pulis said 'I can appreciate any frustration among supporters because we're all feeling it too.
'Sometimes you have to be patient. It's often a case of deals between other clubs having a ripple effect that frees up players you are after yourself.
'All I can say is we've been here before when we were chasing the likes of Steve Simonsen or Darel Russell, not to mention Ade Akinbiyi who took months to catch.
'That goes to show the wait can be worthwhile, but I appreciate it is extremely frustrating.'
Fans should maybe give the new manager and John Rudge the benefit of the doubt for now as they have turned up some gems in the recent past - Akinbiyi, Gallagher and Chadwick to name but three.
On the subject of missing players, one of our posters, scfc, has been asking after Zola Matumona, the Congolese player who so impressed Gerry Taggart at the African Cup last February that he signed a contract with us 'subject to a work permit' back in March. Unlike that other African Cup player, Sammy Bangoura, he did turn up for a week's training with the squad shortly after but since then nothing has been heard from him. It now appears that Stoke will be making a statement 'soon'. We assume this means that the contract is dead and he will no longer be joining the club.
I hear that there are some Italian Seria B players going cheap - maybe Rudgie should be on the next plane to Italy?
Date:Saturday July 15 2006
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