Palace academy manager Gary Issott has revealed that had it not been for injury, young centre-back Ryan Inniss may have had the opportunity to impress first team boss Tony Pulis in the USA.
Fellow youngsters Jake Gray, Hiram Boateng and Jerome Binnom-Williams travelled to Austria and the USA with the first team to partake in their training camp, and all three have seen some game time, but if it were not for injury, Inniss could have joined them.
The centre-back played the final half an hour in Palace's 3-2 victory at Dulwich Hamlet on Tuesday, and Issott was pleased to see him back on the pitch after a long term injury cut short his loan spell at Gillingham.
“It’s a big year for Ryan, we only played him up front [against Havant and Waterlooville] to give him a taste and to control his running more. We have to hope we can keep him fit as another injury is the last thing he needs.”
Issott also revealed that the club will look to send the young centre-back out on loan for the season after he impressed at Cheltenham, Luton and Gillingham last season.
“You’d like to think even a top end League 1 or Championship loan is not beyond Ryan this year, I’m sure that’s what he’s aiming for.
“Maybe if Ryan had been fit he may have played there [at centre-back] instead of Glenn Murray, who knows. I was disappointed when Ryan got injured; he might have had that opportunity this season to get in front of the manager.
“We have to nurse him through with minutes but by early August/September he’s got to be attracting interest from some loan clubs.”
Palace’s U21 side continued their unbeaten run in pre-season with victory at Dulwich Hamlet on Tuesday evening, thanks to goals from Mandela Egbo, Sullay KaiKai and Kyle de Silva.
The game saw new signing Fraizer Campbell make his debut as the main striker, with Stephen Dobbie and Reise Allassani either side of him. With all eyes on the former Cardiff City man, he showed some neat touches and perhaps a sign of things to come when after Allassani put him through, he squared back across goal for Sullay KaiKai to tap in just before half-time.
Prior to KaiKai’s goal, Palace had a let off early on when Nyren Clunis got in behind the Palace defence and pulled it back but Dean Lodge’s shot was cleared off the line by trialist Sam Magri. The Eagles had gone close through Allassani but his shot was blocked.
Clunis was again involved as he crossed for Lodge again, but the striker couldn’t quite connect with a diving header. After 15 minutes, it was Palace who took the lead through Mandela Egbo. The England U17 right-back scored with an audacious lob from the edge of the box, after Allassani was thwarted in a one-on-one just beforehand.
Dulwich looked to play plenty of long balls mixed with exploiting Matty George down the left with pace, and they got in behind the defence only for David Gregory to make a superb save from Ashley Carew’s fierce drive. Soon after, however, Laurence Hamici outmuscled Luke Croll with great strength and fired past Gregory who could only parry the shot into the top corner at his near post as Hamlet found the equaliser on 22 minutes.
Sullay KaiKai almost put the visitors back in front when he danced his way into space on the edge of the box but his effort whistled narrowly over the bar as the game started to become stretched. Dulwich countered and Dean Lodge’s acrobatic effort was deflected for a corner.
The hosts then took the lead for the first time in the match as the referee adjudged a Palace defender to have handled a Kevin James corner, and Carew sent Gregory the wrong way to make it 2-1.
However, they would not hold the lead for long as an excellent team move saw Allassani feed Campbell down the right and he pulled the ball back for KaiKai to tap home from two yards on the stroke of half time.
Half time saw Dobbie, Campbell and George replaced by Kyle de Silva, Morgan Ferrier and Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong.
Only two minutes into the second half Palace were given a golden opportunity to regain the lead after KaiKai’s tricky feet were too much for the defender who brought him down and the referee pointed to the spot.
Morgan Ferrier stepped up confidently but smashed his spot kick hard against the bar and over, much to the dismay of those watching.
The second period lacked the verve that embodied the first as the game slowed down significantly, with both sides cancelling each other out. Ghass Sow was particularly impressive in the centre of the field as the Eagles’ skipper thwarted a number of Hamlet attacks, and it was he who was involved in a controversial incident mid way through the half as he was bundled over in the box trying to reach Allassani’s centre, but the referee waved away Palace’s protests.
Gregory was called into action again as a looping ball in almost caught him out but he kept his concentration to do well to tip it over the bar.
The impressive Allassani was once again having joy down the Dulwich right but his whipped ball in was turned away. Nonetheless, the Eagles would eventually let their pressure tell as KaiKai did well down the left and his ball in found Kyle de Silva who struck a sweet left-footed volley on the turn and the net bustled as Palace went 3-2 ahead after 72 minutes of a pulsating match.
The action wasn’t over there as Palace broke through trialist Femi Akinwande and his curling left-footed effort from 20 yards beat the ‘keeper but smashed against the woodwork, with a follow up effort almost lobbing the goalkeeper from a similar distance.
The match finished Dulwich 2-3 Palace with an impressive performance from Reise Allassani who troubled the defence all evening, but it was Ghass Sow’s tenacious efforts in the centre of midfield which earned him FYP’s man of the match.
It was a quiet performance from Fraizer Campbell despite his assist, but with the forward yet to play in pre-season the 45 minutes under his belt would have pleased his manager.
Palace line up: Gregory, George (Berkeley-Agyepong 45), Magri (Inniss, 60), Croll (Chambers, 60), Egbo, Sow (C), Gabsi (Black, 60), Allassani, KaiKai, Dobbie (de Silva, 45), Campbell (Ferrier, 45).
Frazier Campbell can't wait to get going at Palace after joining on a three-year deal...and admitted last season's turn around under Tony Pulis was a deciding factor.
The 26-year-old striker joined from Cardiff for just £600,000 and is excited about returning to the Premier League.
"I am delighted to sign on the dotted line and become a Crystal Palace player and now I am really looking forward to being part of this club and meeting the other lads," he told Palace's official site.
"Last season this club made great progress, I remember the run of games without defeat and from when Tony Pulis came in he got the club moving up the league.
"Around Christmas looking in at this club it looked like Palace were dead and buried but the gaffer breathed some fresh life into the club and added to the squad to help the team push up to 11th."
He added: "This is a great opportunity for myself to, firstly, get back in the Premier League and also have the chance to be around a great manager and some fantastic players.
"The last couple of weeks have been frustrating for me but I can't wait to get started now in the red and blue of Crystal Palace."
Eagles boss Tony Pulis is happy to add the striker to his ranks but is frustrated he hasn't been able to bring Campbell out to the club's pre-season tour of America, meaning it will be a few extra days before fans get to see him in a Palace shirt.
“I’m disappointed we’ve not been able to bring him out here, but pleased that he’s signed," said Pulis.
“We need goals, as you’ve seen today – we need people who can put the ball in the back of the net.
“We created lots of chances today and needed an own goal to win the game, so we need to improve that.
“He’s got a good attitude and works hard. He’ll blend in well with the rest of the group because that’s what the group have got.”
The release of the fixtures is an exciting time for fans, but which away game are you most looking forward to? Here's Mark Slverstein's choice...
As the sun sets on the best World Cup for many years, so the first glimmers of light of the new Premiership season can be seen. Last season that dawn brought much hope but very little expectation for Palace supporters. By October that hope was down to a faint flicker. Of course, we all know that the phoenix (or should that be an eagle?) that rose from the ashes soared to 11th in the table, but what of the new season?
Although Tony Pulis has given us more expectation than hope this season, no true Palace supporter will be fully free of those nagging doubts unless (I will not say until) we get those 40 points.
Like every football fanatic, the morning of 18 June was spent scanning the fixture list to see when the choice home and away matches were taking place. No holidays, weddings or other such trivial events could be allowed to interfere. For me, the key away fixture was not Anfield, the Ethiad or even the "The Theatre of Dreams/Nightmares (last season)"; no, the away fixture I am relishing is St. Mary's.
An odd choice, but I have my reasons- the main one being that most tribal of football supporter’s reasons- revenge. No, I have not confused my south coast towns- although one day that other lot might be lucky enough to play us again.
My son and I went to quite a few away matches last season and for me Southampton was our lowest point. The last minute goal at Newcastle was a blow but that turned out to be the darkest point before the Pulis inspired dawn. Fulham at home was of course the lowest of them all.
OK- we were not really expecting a win at St. Mary’s, but a hard fought point was not impossible, was it? Well for us this was the match that it became clear how long our Premiership campaign could turn out to be. A respectable first half performance with nothing to show for it followed by some mistakes ruthlessly punished and then a lot of fruitless huffing and puffing with as much chance of a goal as the proverbial pig flying.
The witty and relentlessly noisy Palace support still brought a smile amongst the gloom; and the good humoured abuse (or should I use the correct football term- banter?) from the Southampton supporters both during the match and on the way back to the station was what you would expect. " Next year, you'll be playing Bournemouth, next year", etc., etc. It was a little harsh, however, when a Southampton supporter accused my son of covering up his Palace shirt on the way back to the railway station- it was after 5:00pm in September, he was getting cold- honest!
The problem was they were right (no, not the reason for covering up of the shirt)- they knew it and even worse, we knew it. That was what hurt- being with the best away supporters in the Premier League might ease the pain but a long, frustrating and humiliating season was beckoning.
We all know that our fairy godfather, Tony Pulis, appeared as if by magic in November and made all our dreams come true (suspect that will be first and last time Mr Pulis is described that way- at least by me if I ever meet him).
So, for me, I want to go to St Mary's and show them what a Palace team can really do- I want that hard fought draw or even all 3 points. We certainly did not show up in the home fixture against Saints, so we are due something. I fully expect the songs and abuse (we will certainly dish it out) but if we can silence them that would be perfect and the very least I want the banter back to be hollow and for those Saints supporters to damn well know it.
Of course there is a small pessimistic Palace supporter in me that is thinking that if we end up enduring 90 minutes of misery, at least the train journey home is short.
Which away game are you most looking forward to? Tweet us! @FYPFanzine
Matt Webb continues his US tour diary as Palace play their final game at Richmond Kickers - where he also caught up with Tony Pulis.
On a very hot day with temperatures soaring above 30°C (90°F) the “Red Army” of Richmond were in good spirits leading up to the final leg of Palace’s US tour. The scorching heat did not deter the Kickers fans, as they parked their cars on the field adjacent to the pitch, fired up their barbeques and invited the Palace fans to join in their festivities. Some of the visiting English nervously obliged and it wasn’t long before both sets of fans were tailgating together.
As City Stadium began to reach full capacity, I couldn’t help but notice a few things that Palace fans in particular might admire about the Richmond Kickers. Make no bones about it, City Stadium is tired and in desperate need of renovation and when compared with the modern PPL Park it is light years behind. However, as we know, a shiny, new Stadium does not make a club.
The Premier League has many teams with brand new stadiums, but it is the clubs that still reside in older stadiums that tend to have the best atmosphere and it is no different in the US. The spectators at PPL Park seemed relatively pedestrian in comparison to the Red Army, who sung their songs and banged their drums enthusiastically at this 1920’s stadium.
Shortly before kick off we received news of the starting eleven and were surprised to see Glenn Murray partner Peter Ramage at center back. Having recently released Danny Gabbidon and with Joel Ward, Paddy McCarthy, Damien Delaney and Scott Dann all ruled out of the match day squad through injury, Tony Pulis seemingly had no choice but to play someone out of position.
Some rumoured that since Joel Ward was fit enough to train earlier that day, it may have been a statement made by Pulis to highlight the need for further investment in the position.
As the players marched onto the pitch, the stadium announcer began to read the team sheets out. What followed seemed almost like a deliberate comedy routine, maybe this stadium announcer had heard of the legend of Schwepfinger? Who knows, but even the Palace players could not contain their laughter when he butchered “Bolasie” so badly that it sounded more like he was reading an item from an Italian spaghetti menu than reading the Palace team sheet.
During the match he went on to unnecessarily patronise the home fans by announcing and explaining every referee decision, chance on goal and even the occasional tackle over the loud speaker.
Perhaps the hysterics distracted the players a little too much, as they started slow and it was the Kickers who had the better chances in the opening minutes. With a back four of Jerome Williams, Ramage, Murray and Mariappa playing together for the first time in front of Hennessey, you could understand the communication mix up that led to the Kickers’ best chance of the match. After about 20 minutes Murray collided with Hennessey and left the goal open for Yeisley, but he tamely put it wide into the side netting.
Palace started to come alive as the match progressed and in the 35th minute Puncheon whipped in a free kick from the right, which Gayle nodded on for Peter Ramage to head in for the lead. 5 minutes later Gayle pounced on a Joe Ledley low cross to tap it in, but celebrations were cut short as the linesman’s flag was raised and it was ruled offside.
10 minutes into the second half, Jason Puncheon stood over the ball at the corner flag that is positioned so close to the flood light it impedes the run up for the corner taker. This corner of the pitch is City Stadium’s version of the Holmesdale End, where the Palace Ultras rule, the “Section O” home fans did their best to intimidate Puncheon as he tried to find room to take the corner kick. Nevertheless Puncheon crossed in an in-swinger and Murray leaped to score his 4th goal of the tour with a glancing header.
Pulis made some changes shortly after the second goal bringing Bannan and O’Keefe on for Jedinak and Ledley as a straight swap in the center of midfield. Barry Bannan was immediately impactful and looked like he had a point to prove. On the 70th minute mark he fought hard to win the ball back, before crossing in for Chamakh who headed home for the third and final goal of the match.
Tony Pulis had been upset with the lack of goals against Philadelphia Union on Friday, especially considering the number of chances Palace created. I spoke to him after the match in Richmond and despite scoring three today, he again talked about the need for goals.
Regarding new signing Fraizer Campbell he said “He gets goals. We need to score more than last season, we created enough, we just didn’t score enough and he gets goals. He is hard working and will fit into the group. He can play up front or on the wing.”
Pulis also confirmed that he did intend to play Campbell on both the wing and as a striker. I mentioned to Tony that many have indicated that Dwight Gayle is a similar style of footballer to Fraizer Campbell and some were concerned the signing of Campbell might impact Gayle’s progress. “It’s just healthy competition” Tony said “We need to get some more bodies in now, we just need to make general improvements.”
The players and coaching staff remained on the pitch long after the final whistle, signing autographs and posing for photos with the adoring fans. There were expats who hadn’t seen their team play for years and when speaking to some, I could see that this had meant the world to them. I understand why some Premier League teams tour the Far East and other parts of the world, but the USA represents a different opportunity. America, especially the East Coast has a large British expat population and is a growing market for the Premier League.
Crystal Palace fly back to London tonight, having won the support of many Americans, even the Richmond Kickers mascot “Kickeroo” looked to have been converted.
Other diary entries:
It's been a long 14 years for Jason Matthews but he finally got the chance to see his beloved Palace this week. He explains here...
It’s happening. It’s really happening. That was going through my head Wednesday night in Columbus, Ohio. I had been waiting for this for what seems like a lifetime. 14 years. And on this night, it was going to happen. I was finally going to see Crystal Palace play in person. How could I follow Crystal Palace for 14 years and never see them play live? Let me take you back.
The year 2000. I was a college sophomore at Ball State University. From a small town in rural Indiana. I met one of the English guys that lived across the hall because I was playing some Muse in my dorm room. Rob and I became good friends. At some point, Rob asked if he could come into my room at 8:30 a.m. to listen to football matches on my computer.
For about the first month or so, I’d stay in bed and just sleep. Then, I started noticing player names. Clinton Morrison, Dougie Freedman, Fan Zhiyi, Hayden Mullins… I was quickly becoming hooked. I joined the BBS on cpfc.org and after being a drunk and stupid 19 year old, made some friends. I went to England that summer to stay with Rob and his family, but unfortunately missed the first pre-season friendly by just a few days. I had to fly back to the USA.
So, this brings us back to Wednesday. I’d listened to games online. Stockport away. Sheffield Wednesday away. That 5-0 versus Br******. Big games. I’d watched two successful play-off finals on the computer. I’d seen Palace relegated from the Premier League. I’d seen the team nearly disappear through administration.
But to me, the nerves were flying like this game was a one game relegation fight. I couldn’t sleep the night before. I got out of bed early. I couldn’t wait to make the two-and-a-half hour drive from Perrysburg, Ohio down to Columbus.
When I got there, I headed to a Palace Party. A tailgate outside Columbus Crew Stadium. Met some great people. Both Yanks and South Londoners. The beer was flowing. Songs were being sung.
People were watching our Palace crew have one hell of a good time. About an hour until game time, we started marching to the Stadium. “We’re the Red and Blue Army” was our cry. The Columbus fans were taking it all in as we headed into the stadium and to our seats.
We marched up the ramps, and the field came into view. Palace were warming up down below. “We love you! We love you! We love you! And where you play we follow! We follow! We follow!” Julian Speroni turned around and gave us a clap.
All I could think was, “How cool is that!?”. Rain was drizzling down. But it couldn’t dampen my spirits. We sang and sang and sang. The play on the field didn’t exactly set the world on fire in the first half. But we were having some amazing fun int of the stands.
Glenn Murray popped in a header right in front of us. “Scoring goals for Palace, Glenn Murray!” When I left for the game, all I was hoping was that Palace scored so I could celebrate a goal. Turns out, it could have been the most boring 0-0 and I would have been perfectly content.
I was having so much fun with the Palace people. So much singing that my voice is still hoarse as I write this on Saturday.
The Palace family is an amazing group of people. I met people who had travelled from South London. Ex-pats living in Bermuda, Florida, Kansas City, Detroit, Ohio. Fans from Toronto, New York, Chicago, Detroit, various parts of Ohio. The Palace all bring us together.
The game ended in a 2-2 draw, but the night couldn’t have been more perfect. After 14 years of all the ups and downs we as Palace fans have come to expect, I have finally witnessed Crystal Palace.
When the fixture so close to home was announced, I tweeted Steve Parish to thank him for coming to Ohio. He replied. That’s just the kind of club Palace is. Friendly, welcoming and a whole hell of a lot of fun.
I’ve made some friendships through Palace that are people I consider good friends. Many of them are people I’ve never met in person. People I met in 2001 in London said hello to me Wednesday. That’s crazy.
But, I keep adding people to the list of people I have met in person. And I hope I hope to meet a whole lot more of you when I am finally able to see Palace play at Selhurst.
I’m sure that will be like my first time times 10. I love you Palace. Until we meet again…
After Crystal Palace confirmed the signing of Fraizer Campbell from Cardiff City for a fee believed to be in the region of £600,000, Cardiff season ticket holder Chris Boodeny tells us what to expect from the new Eagles' forward.
When Fraizer Campbell signed for City on the 21 January 2013 for £650,000 from Sunderland, I remember feeling slightly underwhelmed. Perhaps this illustrates the "divine right" Ian Holloway criticised Cardiff fans for, following a 1-1 draw at home to Blackpool in 2010. There has always been a feeling at the club that City were somehow a "sleeping giant" with a large potential catchment area, that could rival that of some established Premier League teams.
Fortunately, following a rather public ridiculing from our very own Bond Villian, Vincent Tan and the sacrifice of over 100 years of history and tradition for what has effectively been a failed marketing tool for the Far East - there's a quiet humility in the Cardiff City Stadium now, as supporters have realised just what is important in football - aside from history and tradition, it's hard work, loyalty, it's togetherness - it's the club, it's why we stand (or nowadays sit, unless you're an "Ultra") in the freezing cold on a "school night" in November.
Fraizer Campbell represents all of this.
I knew little of Fraizer Campbell before he signed, I remember he was quick, I remember seeing him on Match of the Day a few times. He was good, but I couldn't see him being the difference. I vaguely remember expecting him to play more on the wing than as an out and out striker.
However, what I'd see unfold over the 18 or so months was a hard-working, team-player who wore his heart on his sleeve. Professional footballers, especially in the top flight, are often criticised for "not caring." What you can expect to see from Fraizer is a fighter - he will literally chase anything down. He will work, and work, and work - and chase and chase and chase. For 90 minutes. Non-stop.
Aside from being a "worker," he has that touch of class, coupled with intelligence. Granted - he certainly won't get you 20 goals, probably not half that.
His intelligence, his positioning, both with and without possession is excellent. On the break, he's got the wit to identify the space, and the pace to beat the defence. Without possession, he will chase centre halves down regularly forcing mistakes, or hapless hoofs upfield - which a Tony Pulis side are more than capable of dealing with.
However, he has proved to us this season, that he can hack it when it counts. We were arguably the least creative side in the Premier League last season - however he managed to score against both Manchester clubs. A goal against Manchester United at home is a particular highlight of a cool, calm, calculated finish and the talent and finesse he does possess. The header/shoulder against Manchester City at home evidences the never say die, do anything for the cause attitude - which he has consistently displayed. I cannot remember a game where I thought he had not put a shift in, where he hadn't chased something down, nor when he had made clever diagonal runs into the box.
Tactically - I believe he will suit Palace, and think it's a rather shrewd signing. Under McKay - City played with strict, disciplined positioning - keep the shape at all costs, coupled with a relatively high press. From my limited observations of Palace, and Stoke before, Pulis applies the same disciplined approach - though arguably more able to deal with playing deeper.
What Fraizer will give you is a tireless, higher press, while defensive shape can be maintained. He played as a lone striker, for the majority of the season - and was able to chase down effectively - forcing mistakes, scraps and the aforementioned "hoofs" playing into your hands. Tireless.
As a person, he certainly appears to be a good body to have in the dressing room. Always with a smile on his face (unless giving the odd linesman a berating), a good sense of humour (please refer to the trousers up to his nipples celebration, mocking Vincent Tan) popular, a family driven young man, who's efforts, rub off on his teammates. On a few occasions you can also expect to see something, out of nothing. He genuinely seems to empathise with supporters - when things aren't going your way, your struggle will be his - you'll see this. He's not a stereotypical badge-kisser, he cares.
Though initially underwhelmed, I'm very sad to see him go. I was even going to name my terrapin after him. I suppose Dikgacoi the terrapin has a nice ring to it.
But I am glad to see his efforts rewarded with a Premier League contract. Palace will not go down, not under Pulis - and with Fraizer, you'll have another tool in your arsenal, with and without the ball. He is a fantastic team-player, and I hope he does well for you. Enjoy the Premier League - you deserve to be there, football should be about passion, hard work, belief and determination - not for advertising a Malaysian fast food chain called Kenny Rogers' Roasters.
Side issue - quick hats off for the efforts re: the atmosphere at Selhurst Park and on the road (I believe you were voted the best away following at the CCS this year), critics say it's a bit contrived - but like the Woody Allen film, Whatever Works - and it works.