After much post season anticipation, we are pleased that the last few days have seen the signing of three players to swell the Charlton ranks; Billy Clarke and Mark Marshall joining from Bradford City, with Tariqe Fosu-Henry having arrived from Reading.
We welcome all three to the Valley and wish them long and successful careers with Charlton.
Clarke began his career at Ipswich and made a number of appearances since he was a teenager, alongside a series of loans around the country. He moved to Blackpool where he featured in their Championship Play-Off promotion team but he then suffered a severe injury at the point of their Premier League debut, keeping him out for that whole season. It wasn’t until a move to Crawley in his mid-twenties that his career took off. In suburban Sussex, followed by his recent term at Bradford, he became a first team regular and returned a decent goals-per-game rate of more than 1 in 4.
Mark Marshall started in non-league before being given a chance in the league at Swindon. Again, it took until the second half of his twenties before he’s been able to fulfil his potential. Mark also moved around the country including spells at Barnet and Port Vale, before his profile rose significantly at Bradford. His performances in this year’s play-offs also got rave reviews and Mark played fifty times for Bradford last season. Let’s hope he’s had a well-earned rest this summer and will be ready for action come August!
Twenty-one-year-old Fosu-Henry’s signing seems to have caused some excitement around the Training Ground. Karl Robinson has enthused about Tariqe’s young talent. His league career so far has been on loan from Reading. Last season he featured in 35 games for Colchester, with just over half as substitute. We look forward to seeing his skills in a red shirt this coming season.
We also applaud the decision to extend Jason Pearce’s contract. A player who attracts adjectives like “uncompromising” in the media, fans have grown to respect his hard work, dedication and application to do his job properly. It is surely no coincidence his lengthy absence with injury last season mirrored our poorest run of results. A fit and healthy Jason is a fundamental part of what we hope will be a promotion push next season.
And finally… reports suggest Ahmed Kashi is due back in SE7 – well, via the trip Ireland at least. Whilst best remembered for the perfectly executed, spectacular long range goal at Peterborough, we also saw some fine demonstrations of a holding midfield role in his 11 games at the start of 2015/16, before his Achilles injury. His reading of the game, excellent coverage and precise distribution were sorely missed later that season … and ever since. We can’t help but feel a fit Kashi would be an outstanding player in League One. Here’s hoping we can see him pull on the red shirt again very soon.