Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton Athletic set to press ahead with transfer activity after resolving boss situation

Charlton Athletic director of recruitment Steve Gallen says that transfer business can commence following the appointment of Ben Garner as manager.

The Addicks handed the 42-year-old former Crystal Palace coach a three-deal year after agreeing on a compensation package with League Two side Swindon Town.

Ex-manager Johnnie Jackson left Charlton at the start of May, with the process of hiring a new manager taking more than a month.

The South Londoners allowed Chris Gunter, Conor Washington, Adam Matthews, Ben Watson, Pape Souare and Stephen Henderson to depart on free transfers. Mason Burstow, Akin Famewo and Jonathan Leko all returned to their parent clubs following the end of their loan spells.

Speaking to CharltonTV on Garner’s appointment being the catalyst for transfer business to begin, Gallen said: “It was something I was waiting for, yeah.

“I am very impatient about things such as this – I want to get things done yesterday, in all honesty.

“I speak every year about trying to do things at the start [of the season], but on this occasion, it [the managerial hunt] has meant that we couldn’t do too much. Obviously, the manager has the final say on what players come into the club, and rightly so.

“I have had so many players lined up, warm, and been talking to and had Zoom calls and meetings with myself.

“Now that we have got Ben in, we can finally push that along. I have already had conversations with him about potential players, and he is really keen as well.

“Even today, we will be having quite a few discussions about where we are going to move to.

“We need a few in – we have lost a few players this summer. Hopefully, we can strengthen the team and do a lot better than we did last season.”

Garner led Swindon to the play-offs semi-finals last season, agonisingly missing out on a place at Wembley in the final after a penalty shootout loss to now League One side Port Vale.

The Kent-born manager has also worked as an assistant head coach to Tony Pulis at West Brom in the Premier League and manager Bristol Rovers.

“He’s very, very relaxed and very organised,” said Gallen of the new Charlton boss Garner.

“In terms of when he did our interviews, he probably interviewed best, in my opinion.

“His style of play was the thing that got him to the interview. Swindon’s style of play is exactly what we want at this football club – very attacking, high press, playing out from the back and not too many long kicks from the goalkeeper.

“Ben suits that perfectly.”

Gallen, who did his UEFA A license alongside Garner, added: “I have always followed his career. I saw that he worked his way up at Crystal Palace towards the first team. He became very close with Tony Pulis, but he also knew Neil Warnock, Ian Holloway and Dougie Freedman, people I know quite well.

“He then followed Pulis to West Brom and then went off to Bristol Rovers, and I kept an eye on him down there.

“It didn’t work out too well for him, but sometimes that can be a good thing in the long term for a manager – you can get maybe a bit of a ‘bloody nose.’

“I saw that he turned up at Swindon at the start of the year, and they did great considering where they were at the start of the season. They ended up having a great season.”


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