Steve Gallen thrilled with Jayden Stockley signing

A photograph of Charlton's Director of Football Steve Gallen

Director of Football Steve Gallen is thrilled to have beaten off widespread competition to sign Jayden Stockley on a three-year deal.

Stockley, who arrives from Championship outfit Preston North End, enjoyed a fruitful spell in SE7 last season after joining on loan in January, showcasing his aerial prowess to be dubbed ‘the headmaster’ with seven of his eight Charlton goals being headers.

The 27-year-old becomes the Addicks’ first summer signing, and Gallen is delighted to have secured the striker’s services amid interest from several League One clubs.

“I was very pleased when we brought him in in January,” admitted Gallen. “I knew it was a good signing when we got him. He really added a lot of impetus to us at that stage. I think him and Liam Millar in particular made a big difference to our team as you saw towards the end of the season. 

“Jayden’s had a lot of options this summer as it happens. There’s been a lot of toing and froing, but the main thing really all the way through was that we wanted to sign him and he wanted to come to us, and so in the end we’ve got it across the line. It’s our first signing obviously and it’s a really good one. I’m pleased that the first signing is a big signing for us.

“I think what we all have to recognise, including myself, is that we’re in a fight for the best players, and there’s big clubs like Portsmouth, Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich and Sunderland to name just a few, that are also interested in the best players. It’s difficult to get them. We’ve won this race and that is very, very pleasing. I had Jacko [Johnnie Jackson] on the phone yesterday a couple of times and he really helped getting this one across the line - he was speaking to Jayden for us, for me. There was a fight going on behind the scenes and, like I said, we’ve won this one and we’ve got to try and win a few more now in the next few weeks.”

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Gallen was quick to praise Stockley’s character at the club’s Sparrows Lane training ground which, coupled with his efforts on the pitch, have endeared him to the Addicks staff.

“Here at the training ground he is very, very well liked and very well respected,” revealed Gallen. “The manager is so pleased with this signing. He talks to me all the time about obviously signing good players, and we’re talking every day, but signing good people. 

“Thomas Sandgaard is also talking about signing good people so we’re all aligned like that; we want good people here at the training ground training every day to go out then on a matchday and perform for our football club. It’s not just about the performances that the fans see on a Saturday and a Tuesday which of course is massively important, but it’s about the rest of the week and how he is with the players, how he is with the younger players. He’s a very, very good pro.”

Gallen also had a message for the Addicks faithful after completing the first acquisition of the transfer window.

The 47-year-old said: “Obviously we have been, for quite a few weeks, in discussions with a lot of players, their representatives and clubs so certainly the message to the fans is that we’re working hard behind the scenes. We’re trying to get the right players, of course at the right price because there’s a strict budget that we’re following, and I do believe it will start falling into place now in the next week or two leading into the start of pre-season here at the training ground.

“We want to get the best players in here and be at the top of the division. That’s what everybody wants - the fans want that, I want that, the manager wants that and the chairman wants that so we’re trying. We’re in the market for all the better players we can get, but there’s also competition and so, like I said, hopefully now in the next week or two it will fall into place. There will be a few more and then I can see a few more potentially during pre-season. And then as always, right at the end of the transfer window there will be one or two deals I think to be had then as well.”

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