Paul Fairclough has scooped for three new players ahead of tomorow’s Bees’ derby to bolster the thin squad.
Left-back Kenny Gillet, who was offered a contract a fortnight ago and rejected the deal has been successfully persuaded to join, whilst Fairclough has used his Arsenal connections to take Joe O’Cearuill from the Gunners. He has also signed fellow centre-back Stevland Angus.
The news comes as a massive relief to fans with the Barnet squad barely ready to field a decent-enough team for tomorow’s League Two clash against Brentford and all three players will go straight into the squad for the game, giving Fairclough plenty more options at the back.
Frenchman Gillet, who is 21 years of age, impressed in pre-season games for the Bees against St. Albans and Watford whilst he was on trial. The ex-Caen left full-back was not offered a new deal by the club flying in the top league in France and resultantly was offered a deal by Fairclough. After accepting the offer a fortnight ago, he then changed his mind and turned down the deal, leaving Fairclough needing to persuade the talented Gillet to join Barnet and provide competition with Nicky Nicolau. Fairclough used his Arsenal connections orginially to find Gillet, having been introduced through Gael Clichy, a friend of Gillet’s.
5’10’ Gillet was considered a bright prospect for the French club but didn’t live up to expectations despite him still being very young and he will now get a chance to show what he’s got in the English Football League.
So that’s the left-back position sorted for the season, and Fairclough has sorted out centre-halves too, just like he promised.
Stevland Angus, 26, has completed a move to North London after an interesting experience with Barnet in the past. Fairclough has always liked Angus, and was signed on loan from Grays Athletic back on transfer deadline day in January 2006 for three-months. In that time he didn’t manage a single appearance because of a long-term groin (chronic adductor) strain that lasted his whole duration at Barenet.
So the 6′-tall centre-half returns for a happier experience this time, free of injury, and ready for action. Angus’ longest spell of his career has come for Cambridge United whom he played more than 150 times though he has also had spells with Bournemouth, Scunthorpe, Hull City and most recently Torquay Utd who he could not save from relegation when he was a regular in the back four for them last season.
The third signing is 20 year old Joe O’Cearuill, another centre-back, who joins from Arsenal. O’Cearuill is a Republic of Ireland international, having made two appearances for them, and strangely made his debut for his former club, the Gunners, against Barnet in last season’s friendly. O’Cearuill can also play at right-back and could be thrown straight into the Barnet first XI in that position instead of playing Ian Hendon.
O’Cearuill, born in England, began his footballing career as a youth with Leyton Orient but was promptly released in 2005 having not made a first-team apperance. He suffered similarly at Watford where he played for their youth team and was released in 2006. Once again, he joined a club for which he played in the youth squad, this time Arsenal after a successful trial, and made an appearance in Dennis Bergkamp’s testimonial as well as the Barnet game though never played a competative game for the Gunners. He did make 8 appearances for Brighton & Hove Albion earlier this year whilst on loan but never claimed a permanant spot in their defence, and this summer was released by the Premiership outfit.
Fairclough has now swooped for O’Cearuill who was in talks with Scottish Premier League side St. Mirren and was expected to join them but Fairclough has done well to swoop for another talented youngster.
Gillet, O’Cearuill and Angus have been handed the number 21, 22 and 23 squad shirts, respectively.