Blues progressing well with the Dome and on the pitch. Steve Kavanagh gives us an update.
As the final sections of the London Soccer Dome arrive in Southend and the convoy of lorries up and down the A127 start to come to a halt we have spoken to Chief Executive Steve Kavanagh about the transfer window and the developments such as the Soccer Dome and the impact on the Academy and first team.
Kavanagh said: “It’s hard not to notice the Soccer Dome’s arrival and many fans around the ground on match days have spoken to me about this.
“Our Academy was one of the highest scoring CAT 3 Academies in the country and the biggest barrier to becoming CAT 2, which is our stated objective, is requiring an indoor facility.
“This provides that answer and the Technical Board who oversee the management of the Academy are busy working on plans to ensure our timelines fit to enable us to apply for CAT 2 at the earliest opportunity, something which will add to our already excellent recruitment.”
The reconstruction of the Dome is now subject to a forthcoming comprehensive Planning Application, as requested by the Borough Council, to include the Club’s revised plans for the West Stand at Fossetts Farm. There are exciting times ahead.
“Seeing the likes of Jack Payne score on Saturday has added feeling when the player has come through the Academy,” Kavanagh said proudly.
“Our aim is to build on the excellent work Ricky Duncan and his team have put in place”.
On the field the transfer window has just closed and it saw a busy month of activity with the majority of our dealings being done earlier.
Blues boss Phil Brown said: “We identified our targets early and then secured them, adding firepower and experience to the side.
“It’s always a difficult month, and I was also delighted we resisted offers for Dan Bentley”.
Kavanagh added: “Securing Adam Barrett, Jake Cassidy and Joe Piggot for the season to provide continuity was vitally important and we were all delighted we were able to do that business.
“Early in January we did make an enquiry for Tyrone Barnett, and Phil and I had several conversations with Peterborough, but we were being quoted £300k - a figure which we did not see as a viable investment.
“Although, it was frustrating to learn he went for £100k in a last minute deal, January is a strange month and the activity often lacks the structure you can achieve in the summer.
“The Chairman gave Phil and I the green light to look at such investments and we will continue to do so going forward, but they have to be right for the Club and the team.
“We continue to look at strengthening the squad and if the right players become available and will look to use the emergency window to do so.”