Whilst the eyes of the footballing world were on Wembley on Saturday afternoon, an emotional event at Huish Park held plenty of resonance for Fulham fans. A fundraising fixture, between Yeovil Town and a South West Legends side, was staged at the Glovers’ home ground for the former Yeovil and Exeter City striker Adam Stansfield, who died aged 31 from cancer. The foundation set up in Adam’s honour has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to give local young people the chance to develop life skills through sport.
It is personal to me, as I watched many of Stansfield’s 39 goals in his four years with the Grecians, as a student in Exeter. His professionalism and passion for the local community were well known even before his diagnosis, but soared with the way he bravely battled such a gruesome disease. Jay’s move from Exeter’s academy set-up to Fulham a couple of years ago was, of course, completely coincidental but gave me a greater connection to this uniquely compassionate family, who have already delivered transformational change throughout the South West through the work of the foundation, which is indebted to the incredible generosity of a team of wonderful volunteers. They are closing in on £350,000 of fundraising – spread across Devon, Somerset and Hereford (where Adam also played) having initially planned to only run the foundation for five years.
Jay kicked off the match on Saturday and there was a lovely moment when another of Adam’s sons, Taylor, scored the final goal in an entertaining 3-3 draw. There is no word yet on the actual amount the day delivered for the foundation as donations are still pouring in from a community that clearly cherishes Adam and his family. Fulham fans may wish to add to the haul here.
Fulham are mulling over making an offer for Mainz midfielder Jean-Paul Boëtius, who is set to leave the German outfit on a free transfer.
The Championship winners had approaches for the Dutch international turned down two years ago and could move again for the 28 year-old, after it was confirmed that would move on from Mainz this summer. Boëtius scored thirteen goals and added 23 assists in 129 appearances during his four years at the MEWA Arena, but has opted for pastures new after prolonged talks about a contract extension broke down.
Boëtius made his senior debut for his hometown club Feyenoord at the age of eighteen when Ronald Koeman named him as a shock starter in De Klassieker in October 2012. The teenager scored the equaliser in a 2-2 against local rivals Ajax and helped Feyenoord finish third, although his season was cut short after 20 appearances by an untimely knee injury. He helped the Rotterdam outfit qualify for the Champions’ League again in 2014, before joining Basel the following year.
Boëtius was an immediate success in Switzerland as Basel won the domestic double in 2016 and landed more trophies after making an emotional return to Feyenoord, lifting the Dutch Cup in 2018, before signing for Mainz for £3m. He has won a single senior cap for the Netherlands national side, having been picked for a friendly against France by Louis van Gaal in 2014, and is believed to be keen on playing in the Premier League. Boëtius is the cousin of Dutch international Urby Emmanuelson, who enjoyed a brief loan spell at Craven Cottage in 2013.
Fulham are set to sign Oldham teenage defender Damon Park in a deal worth around £150,000, according to the Sun.
The Championship winners have agreed a fee – which could rise with significant bonuses applicable depending on the success of the 16 year old’s career – with the Latics for the highly-rated young centre back. Park has been watched by a number of leading sides and is considered one of the best ball-player defenders in his age group in the country.
Oldham, beset by turmoil on and off the field, were relegated from League Two amid chaotic scenes at Boundary Park earlier this month with supporters staging protests against unpopular owner Abdallah Lemsagam.
Fulham are one of a number of Premier League sides looking at signing Derby skipper Tom Lawrence, according to the Mail on Sunday.
Lawrence seems set to leave Pride Park this summer following Derby’s demotion to League One – with the Welsh midfielder proving influential in Wayne Rooney’s battle against adversity. He scored eleven league goals as the Rams bravely fought a points deduction, but the 28 year-old is weighing up his options with his current contract expiring at the end of next month.
Bournemouth and Fulham have both been tracking the playmaker for some time, but the Mail says there is also significant interest from the likes of Burnley, Everton, Leeds United, Watford, Norwich City and Anderlecht. Lawrence has made 185 appearances in five years with Derby, having begun his career in the Manchester United youth set-up. He is desperate to try and force his way into Robert Page’s thoughts for the World Cup this winter, having not represented Wales since a friendly against Mexico last March.
Fulham want to turn Neco Williams’ successful loan move from Liverpool into a permanent deal – and are confident of concluding a £12m transfer in the coming weeks.
The Welsh full back was a revelation after arriving at Craven Cottage on the final day of the January transfer window. Williams immediately displaced Kenny Tete, reprising his partnership at club and international level with Harry Wilson along the Whites’ right flank. The 21 year-old made fourteen appearances, scoring twice and adding two assists, as Marco Silva’s side surged to the Championship table before a knee injury ruled him out of the final three games of the campaign.
Williams has returned to Merseyside following the completion of Fulham’s season but the Londoners are keen to agree a permanent switch ahead of their return to the Premier League. The Wrexham-born defender is desperate to play first-team football to retain his spot in the Welsh side ahead of the World Cup this winter – and he will find his path to the senior side at Anfield blocked by Trent Alexander-Arnold.