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Addicks add new level of class for friendly

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Charlton Athletic are expected to send a strong side to the Kuflink Stadium as Fleet’s pre-season friendlies step up a gear on Tuesday night.

The newly promoted Championship side won 2-0 at Welling United last Saturday and fielded two different sides in each half, giving most of their first-team and U23s some 45 minutes or so – and Lee Bowyer is likely to adopt the same policy for the game against the Fleet.

Charlton have also re-signed goalkeeper Ben Amos from Bolton Wanderers this week, where he was a teammate of Lawrie Wilson, and the former Manchester United youth player could vie with Dillion Phillips and Ashley Maynard-Brewer for a place in the side.

The Addicks’ two goals at Welling were both scored by youngsters, with Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu (who featured for Bromley againast the Fleet in the final game of last season) and former Tooting & Mitcham prospect Abraham Odoh netting.

New signings for Bowyer this summer include a familiar face in the form of Leyton Orient top scorer Macauley Bonne, while Tom Lockyer (Bristol Rovers), Ben Purrington (Rotherham United) and Chuks Aneke (MK Dons) could also feature.

Charlton fans will travel in optimistic mood, fresh from their Wembley play-off triumph against Sunderland and with the expectation mounting for the forthcoming season back in the Championship.

Matt Johnson in action v Charlton in a pre-season friendly five years ago

Fleet could give a start to new signing James Ball who joined the squad for training this week after his move from Stevenage, while another permanent addition is also expected to appear.

With Garry Hill only a few additions away from the squad size he requires to hit the ground running in the new National League season, the remaining three friendlies take on a much more serious note when the shape of the team begins to emerge.

Fleet were perhaps not tested as much as Hill predicted by Tottenham’s U23s who, although impressive in possession, certainly didn’t give the home side the runaround. The likelihood of Charlton unleashing a sizeable number of first-teamers at the Kuflink Stadium, however, is going to present a much more lively threat as this Fleet squad continues to gel.

There is reduced admission of £10/£7/£5/£1 (adults, concessions, juniors and U12s) for this friendly and please note the kick-off time is 7.30pm, not 7.45pm. The hospitality lounge in the Main Stand is open to all supporters (you will need to exit the lounge and return to the turnstiles to gain admission) as is the bar in the Fleet Social Club. Car-parking is available at Ebbsfleet International Car Park C for £3 and we would respectfully ask supporters not to block residences or business around the ground. There is also a risk of cars being ticketed on Thames Way on the approach to the ground before the roundabout. A 48-page matchday programme covering all three home friendlies is on sale for £2.50.

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