betts-lonergan

Injured Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli remains in good spirits after his horrific injury at Hull last month, according to the man who has replaced him in the team, Andy Lonergan.

Lonergan revealed that he has been exchanging text messages with Fulham’s academy graduate, who stepped impressively in the first-team goalkeeping position last season, since his untimely clash with Matt Smith during the 2-1 defeat at the KC Stadium.

I texted him at 3am when we got back from Hull. I just said I hope you’re all right and he replied saying he’d be back out on the golf course in no time so fingers crossed for that. We get on really well. The goalkeeper’s union exists and it’s a strong group.

I had similar myself when I was his age and missed a lot of football. Everyone is here for him and he’s got a great support unit in his dad and his sister is a physio at the club. You have to believe in yourself. You have to trust the medical staff. I’ve not thought about it for years and when Betts went down I felt I’d seen it before.

Lonergan, who started the first game of the season at Cardiff, says he has settled in well at his new club having joined Fulham from Bolton on a free transfer in the summer and is trying to make the most of a first-team opportunity. His penalty save at Rotherham last weekend proved vital in helping Kit Symons’ side secure their first league win of the season.

I love it here. It’s been an easy transition for me to come here. My family are down and I want to get on the pitch and play some football.

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Tim Ream chose a move to Fulham this month over other potential options due to the club’s rich history of nurturing American talent.

The experienced defender admitted that leaving Bolton Wanderers, the side who had given him his chance in European football, was a real wrench but the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Brian McBride, who also furthered his footballing skills at St. Louis University like Ream, amongst others proved too good to resist. He had been heavily linked with a potential transfer to recently relegated QPR, but plumped for a move to Craven Cottage instead.

That was a big sticking point for me, the guys who have come before me, Brian McBride – being a St. Louis University guy, myself as well – and Kasey Keller and (Carlos) Bocanegra and (Clint) Dempsey,” said Ream. “You look at the guys who have played there and really had successful careers there and it really just felt right. With the way they’ve been treated and were welcomed with open arms and had such good careers there, it helped in the decision.

There were a lot of things that go into it: footballing decisions, what they were doing off the field, the type of club that it is, the way its run, the way its organized. I mean, it’s a Premier League club in everything that they do, and when I saw that – QPR is also a well-run club – but the fact that they had so many Americans that have come before me there really put it over the top for me.

Ream’s final day at Bolton was an emotional one, as he told renowned American football writer Ives Garcelep.

I was the very last one to leave that day, and the last one in the car park. I just sat there in the car not really knowing what the next move would be but knowing that for myself and for my family that the next move was forward. I choked up a little bit, to be honest. It was a tough decision to leave after so many good years for myself, but one that I ultimately felt I needed.

Having impressed in his opening two Fulham outings against Sheffield United and Rotherham, Ream’s next immediate target is to try and break into the United States’ defence ahead of the mouthwatering clash with Mexico in October. There is the opportunity to impress national coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who is keen to experiment with his central defensive options in two friendlies against Peru and Brazil over the next few days although the 27 year-old knows he will need to be at his very best.

You work so hard at your club to get in here and be recognized by the coaches here and to now have done that, it’s for me to take that next step and really perform well while I’m here. If you get a chance in games, you have to take it by the scruff of the neck and hopefully that puts you in a good position to then firmly place yourself not only in the squad as a whole but hopefully as a starter come the next camp and the next camp and the next camp.

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The Development of Moussa Dembele

September 3, 2015

Tweet As the transfer window drew to a close on Tuesday and it became increasingly likely that Fulham weren’t going to be signing another striker, I was probably one of the few pleased Fulham fans. Instead of a loanee coming in and taking his game time, Moussa Dembele will now get to continue in the […]

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Careful Coleman confounds the critics

September 3, 2015

Tweet Chris Coleman is on the cusp of something remarkable. His young Wales side, who face Cyprus tonight as they approach a pivotal point in their Euro 2016 campaign, stand on the brink of reaching a major international tournament for the first time since 1958. The success of his managerial reign has revitalised Welsh football […]

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Symons on Curbishley

September 3, 2015

Tweet Fulham manager Kit Symons has opened up about Alan Curbishley’s role at the club – revealing that the former Charlton Athletic boss operates as a sounding board and source of advice to him on managerial matters. Curbishley had a brief spell as a football consultant at Craven Cottage when Rene Meulensteen was appointed as […]

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The Mike Rigg Era

September 2, 2015

Tweet The transfer window is shut, the summer business is done and once the players are back from the international break, the season really starts. But we move back in time to just after Christmas when it was announced that Shahid Khan had invested in a ‘Chief Football Officer.’ Khan, a man whose ownership has […]

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Symons seeks right blend at Fulham

September 2, 2015

Tweet Kit Symons has pledged to continue to give young talent a chance to shine at Fulham – but insists he will always pick the best team available as he seeks to guide the Whites up the Championship table. The Fulham manager, who was previously in charge of the club’s under-21 side, has brought through […]

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Reflections on Fulham’s transfer window

September 1, 2015

Tweet What seems like ages ago, a lecturer at university warned me about the dangers of ‘instant history’. However, with the transfer window’s closure still fresh in the mind, the temptation of assessing how Fulham got on is too great. Football fans are notoriously fickle and I’m sure somewhere in an angry corner of the internet, […]

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Taggart joins Dundee United on loan

September 1, 2015

Tweet Fulham’s Australian international striker Adam Taggart has joined Scottish Premiership side Dundee United on loan until January. The 22 year-old has struggled to make an impact at Craven Cottage having seen his Fulham career cruelly interrupted by injuries following his arrival from Newcastle Jets last summer. Taggart, who represented his country at the World […]

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Kavanagh wins Republic of Ireland under-21 call-up

September 1, 2015

Tweet Fulham defender Sean Kavanagh has been named in the Republic of Ireland’s Under-21 squad for their forthcoming matches against Qatar and Andorra. The Irish face the Qatari Under-23 side in a friendly at Bury’s Gigg Lane on Friday evening before travelling to Andorra for their second European Championship qualifier on Tuesday night. The Irish […]

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