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Deal Town sign former Charlton Athletic and Birmingham City junior Ife Oni | Steve King’s side take on Holmesdale this Saturday after FA Vase triumph over Newhaven

Deal Town manager Steve King admits his latest signing wasn’t in keeping with his usual transfer dealings.

The Hoops were due to have a new face in the side for last night’s (Tuesday) match against Hollands & Blair at The Charles Ground after handing former Charlton and Birmingham City teenager Ife Oni the chance to impress. That game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Deal Town manager Steve King has enjoyed some big wins recently over top sides Picture: Paul Willmott
Deal Town manager Steve King has enjoyed some big wins recently over top sides Picture: Paul Willmott

Oni, a right-back who can also fill in a variety of other roles, helps give King some extra options and he’s happy to take a punt on a player he didn’t have much knowledge of before inviting him to training.

The Deal boss said: “It was quite a rare signing for me because most people know how we work as a football club.

“We don’t sign many, we don’t sign four every month and release four, most of the players we tend to sign I know or I have worked with or the boys know.

“This one was a little bit left-field, but if he shows anything like he has in training in a game then we could have a real good player on our hands.

“He was released from Birmingham having been a scholar up there and he had been at Charlton. A contact of mine said that he was local to our area and was looking for a club. He came in and trained with us last week and made a positive impression.

“It will be interesting to see how he does when we get into SCEFL football, a game situation, but what we have seen from training and people I have spoken to who have worked with him before, he could be a really exciting one.

“He offers us that bit of versatility which when you look for players to add depth to your squad, that versatility is important.

“I whinge about how difficult recruitment is for us with our location and so it is always nice when you get one that comes from nowhere, really - a phone call and then training and they end up impressing you.

“I am really happy with the players we have got in our squad and happy with our strongest 11, but I felt we probably needed a couple in terms of depth because we have so many games to play.

“It’s nice to get one of those across the line and we have another in the pipeline.

“We’ve got [games] Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday for a few weeks now and that gives us a bit of cover to deal with any injuries or suspensions that invariably you pick up.”

Deal will return to league action on Saturday after back-to-back away triumphs against top Step Five sides.

A 4-1 win over Newhaven in the FA Vase Second Round followed a 3-1 victory over Southern Counties East Premier Division leaders Glebe the week before.

Goals from Ben Chapman, Tom Chapman and Rory Smith (2) earned them the Vase win and they have been drawn away again in Round Three, facing Southern Combination side Lingfield on December 2 in the last 64 of the competition.

Deal are back at home again this Saturday against Holmesdale and visit Bearsted on Tuesday.

“We were outstanding in those last two games,” said King.

“We went away to Glebe who were top of the league and won quite comfortably and went to Newhaven, who were second in their league, and we were 4-0 up after 55 minutes. Two really good performances against strong Step Five sides.

“It’s disappointing that we’ve been drawn away again, that’s six away draws we’ve had in the FA Vase from last year.

“I am sure some will have us down as slight favourites. It’s not the worst draw possible, but we won’t be underestimating them.”

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