Wednesday, 24 July 2013


Charlton announced their squad numbers for the forthcoming season today and no sooner were they released but the rumours began to circulate as to why there was a gaping hole between 8 and 11! I'm not expecting a play maker and centre forward to arrive in SE7 any time soon, but it's likely numbers 9 and 10 have been left open as a bargaining tool for enticing any would-be signings to take the plunge and join the Addicks.
In reality, it's been some while since you could read too much in to squad numbers. Nowadays players wear their preferred numbers more out of superstition or tradition. Regular player of the year, Chris Solly, retains his favoured number 20, as does our Breton warrior, Big Yann, with his preferred number 18. Young winger, Callum Harriott (pictured above) makes the biggest impact, jumping from number 32 to 11, where his career should continue to blossom (hopefully with the Addicks) in a way that the previous occupant, Scott Wagstaff, just couldn't quite manage.
Hamer unsurprisingly retains the number 1 jersey (once held by former centre-back, Sweaty Balmer, of course). Dale Stephens holds on to the number 8 jersey, which, without wishing to contradict my earlier statement, perhaps hints that he is part of Powell's plans after all.
For as long as I can remember, I always played football in the number 3 jersey. It simply wasn't an option to play in another number: psychologically it would have crippled me! Some years back, when managing a local Sunday morning men's team, I incurred the wrath of the East Hertfordshire County FA (and a £40 fine, if memory serves) for refusing to name a traditional 1 to 11 in a league cup final. The League had requested the finalist do so to make the production of a matchday programme easier (no, I never got it either). The problem is that I had named myself on the bench which meant I wouldn't have been able to wear the number 3. I had great pleasure receiving my medal from a very disgruntled League Chairman!

One name that doesn't feature in the 2013/14 squad list is Bradley Wright-Phillips who secured a move to the New York Red Bulls today after being released by the Addicks. Thanks for the memories, Brad. Good luck in the States. 

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