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Ebbsfleet United manager Dennis Kutrieb on summer exits of Sefa Kahraman and Alfie Egan

Manager Dennis Kutrieb has revealed popular defender Sefa Kahraman left Ebbsfleet this summer to pursue his personal dream.

The 25-year-old centre-back turned down the chance to stay at Stonebridge Road for a third season having followed boss Dennis Kutrieb from Germany in the summer of 2020. Instead, he’s hoping to find a club in Turkey.

Sefa Kahraman is hoping to find a new club in Turkey after leaving Ebbsfleet. Picture: Keith Gillard
Sefa Kahraman is hoping to find a new club in Turkey after leaving Ebbsfleet. Picture: Keith Gillard

Kutrieb explained: “Because of his religion, Sefa feels that he wants to be at home but not at home in Germany, at home in Turkey. Obviously, his roots are in Turkey and he said he’d love to grab this chance.

“It was not a decision against us or the club but in his case it was truly a religious decision because he wants to live in Turkey and play football in Turkey. He has no club or anything definite on the table, just a few trials.

“It’s a big dream to do something in Turkey. I said to him ‘go and try to live your dream in Turkey’. He loved every minute at Ebbsfleet United but I didn’t want to hold him back and his dream was getting stronger and stronger.

“I’ve known him four or five years so we had an open and honest chat. He was telling me about it a little while ago and I asked him a few times and he was unsure about leaving England and Ebbsfleet. But I said if this is your dream inside of you then just go for it, you never know, maybe you will get a good career over there or maybe you’ll end up in Germany.”

Kutrieb didn’t rule out a potential return to the Fleet for Kahraman in the future.

“Sefa’s young still and I like his style of play and character,” added the Fleet boss. “The door is not closed. There’s nothing now that he will come back this summer but you never know in the future what will happen. It wasn’t anything negative about us, it was just a personal feeling for him.”

Kutrieb has also spoken about the departure of midfielder Alfie Egan, who made the step up to join National League Boreham Wood on a two-year deal.

The Fleet boss wanted Egan to stay but he couldn’t begrudge him the chance of testing himself in the National League where he’ll come up against another former Ebbsfleet player with Tobi Adebayo-Rowling joining Notts County earlier this summer.

“With Alfie, I was expecting that he would stay to be fair,” said Kutrieb. “He was a little bit too late when he said he wanted to grab the chance in the National League. I can’t blame someone for that.

“We did something good because with Tobi and Alfie, two young players that when we started to work with them no-one knew them. Alfie was a squad player at Ebbsfleet and nothing else, without many appearances for Ebbsfleet. Tobi was playing for Eastbourne and now two years later, he’s very highly rated.

“We did something right here and that’s okay for me. We’re a football club and I said in the beginning that we’ll try to make players better than when they first step through the door here and that’s what we’ve definitely done.

“I want the players with me, not other clubs, but that’s football. If you can go higher up the league then players will do that, and that’s fine with me. With Josh Wright we have a good addition, totally different to Alfie Egan but with plenty of quality.”

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