Stacey Springs Surprise
There was an unexpected development at The Cooking Pot today, as Niculae Stanca
announced that he had let former Canadian national goalkeeper Dexter Stacey
leave for Polish Division Seven club Gladiator Łucznik Radom in a S$2 million transaction. Stacey, who turns 36 in a month, was reportedly unhappy at supposedly being marginalized in the squad, and requested the transfer.
While it is no secret that the morose Stacey has never been popular in the dressing room, he certainly radiated intimidation from between the sticks in his five seasons and 86 appearances with the Birds, although Grilled's attack-at-all-costs mentality meant that he kept only nine clean sheets. He did capture the Player of the Season award, as his illustrious predecessors Ahmed Abed-Sulaiman and Valdir Dias Paes did.
Stanca took a leaf from his mentor Han Lik-Tsun's books, when he insisted that Grilled would not be hasty about their search for a successor. "We're keeping both eyes open, but if the right candidate doesn't come along, I don't see why Hovaness Noubaryan
or Dan Seng
can't fill in. That's what they are here for."
The head coach also revealed that Austrian defender Walter Ross
had accepted a new backup role with the team. "Walter's contract has been extended by a season, with the understanding that he may not get to play much unless one of our key defenders gets injured. He's a disciplined character, though, and we can count on him to be prepared if that comes to pass."
In a footnote to the day's dealings, burly teenaged target man Choo Teck Tian was taken by Israeli Division Six outfit Ras el ayn on a tree transfer. Chief scout Tham Beng Li was pleased for his protege, but warned that he had a long way to go. "He always had the physique, but will need to pick up some tricks to stick around for the long haul."