Wednesday, 20 July 2011

As good as Gould

Being rejected is one of the worst feelings in the world. But it's a measure of the man that Morgan Gould decided to take my call earlier on today when the news that he hadn't quite made the grade at Selhurst Park was confirmed.

I've been speaking to the Bafana Bafana defender via his compatriot Kagisho Dikgacoi's phone since he arrived on trial at Crystal Palace last week and he must have groaned when the phone rang on his way to the airport. Most people would probably have just ignored it and got their head down before the long fight back to South Africa but Morgan answered, gave me a couple of quotes for Kickoff's website and tried to sound as upbeat as possible.

He was obviously disappointed having pinned his hopes on a move to Europe but it seems the price-tag of around  £500,000 was just too much of a stretch for Palace. Manager Dougie Freedman had to pretty much beg chiarman Steve Parish to release the funds to purchase KG from Fulham earlier his month and quotes from the Croydon Advertiser's website confirmed that he felt it was just too much for a player who has never played for a club outside his native country.

Pre-season matches against Basingstoke Town and Wycombe Wanderers were probably not enough to really test him, although Freedman knows he must live or die by decisions like this one. Gould nonetheless has taken the blow on the chin and is still hopeful that he may find a new club before the start of the new season, with plenty in South Africa certainly keen.

Europe remains the ideal destination though and even though he has undoubted pedigree as an established international, his age and the transfer fee in these depressed times make things difficult. Agent Glyn Binkin has often spoken about interest from Russia in the past so maybe there is some hope for him.

For Palace, the quest for a new centre back goes on. Rumours that Antony Gardner could be on his way would certainly explain Freedman's reluctance to offer Gould a deal, while French defender Francois Marque could be a much cheaper option with Champions League experience.

But, sadly, the prospect of two Bafana players turning out every week for the Eagles will have to wait.
Unless Freedman fancies a punt on fish and chip empresario Siphiwe Tshabalala, that is? Palace could certainly do with a bit of extra bite in midfield.

You can see my interview with Morgan Gould for Kickoff at

Dan Jones' Croydon Advertiser article is here:

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