Preview: Punjab United

The now-customary pre-season curtain-raiser will usher in 2023/24 preparations for the Fleet as the Steve Cook Memorial Cup kicks-off pre-season in what will be the fourth friendly meeting of Punjab United and Ebbsfleet United in Gravesend this Saturday morning.

The Elite Venue on Dunkirk Close will afford Fleet fans a first chance to see some of their new signings in action alongside their Vanarama National League South champions as Dennis Kutrieb gives his squad the opportunity to stretch their legs ahead of a month of pre-season head-to-heads.

New to the Fleet this summer are David Amoo, Ouss Cissé, Matthias Fanimo, Jack Wakely and Hayden White, along with 19 players retained from 2022/23.

Rakish Bingham, Ben Chapman and then-trialist Greg Cundle remain in Fleet colours from the first meeting with Punjab back in 2020, although Bingham of course remains some way off a return due to his injury. And last season, Toby Edser was one of the unnamed trialists in action at Punjab to later sign permanently and play a starring role in the season to follow.

Franklin Domi in action in last season’s pre-season opener

Kutrieb confirmed to KentOnline that his squad was all but complete though one vacancy could potentially remain open much as it did when Edser trialled against Punjab in Fleet’s 3-1 victory there last season. Edser, Bingham and Dominic Poleon were on target in that one and the visitors will be supplemented this season by some blistering pace in the form of Amoo and Fanimo.

While the Fleet have risen a level to the National League, Punjab remain in the SCEFL Premier Division but have their own silverware to show off, having thrashed Deal Town in last season’s Kent Senior Trophy. Chipie Sian’s side finished exactly halfway in 10th in a competitive league last season and they have retained much of the 2022/23 squad including veteran former Bromley, Tooting & Mitcham and Carshalton forward Paul Vines. A couple of additions include 24-goal striker Tunde Aderonmu from Erith & Belvedere, Sam Bailey from Welling Town and Elias London from Lordswood.

Kick-off is 10.45am and admission is pay on the gate – £5 for adults with U16s free.

Fleet’s first three pre-season games are away, with matches at Tonbridge (Friday, July 7) and Sittingbourne (Tuesday, July 11) to follow. But there is sporting action at the Kuflink Stadium across the next two weekends, with the double-header of London Broncos v Newcastle Thunder kicking-off on Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are available online or on the day at the Kuflink Stadium.


Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkedin
Share on WhatsApp
Email this article

More News

match stats

Click to enlarge »

First-Team Squad