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Alan CurbishleyNew signings will be out to impress Curbishley on Alec's big day

19 July 2005

Charlton manager Alan Curbishley will be parading a host of new signings when he brings his team to Vicarage Road for Alec Chamberlain's Testimonial Game on July 30.

Darren Bent from Ipswich and Darren Ambrose from Newcastle are among Curbishley's high profile signings. Also added to his squad over the past week is the promising young American defender Jonathan Spector, who has joined the club on a season loan from Manchester United.

And popular full-back Chris Powell has returned to the club after being part of West Ham's promotion winning squad last season. Powell, who was capped 5 times for England, was a Charlton stalwart before heading off to Upton Park for a short spell. He hopes to compete for a place in the first team next season, but is also looking to get involved in coaching at The Valley.

"I'm delighted we've finally signed Darren Bent," said Curbishley. "We've been looking at him for some time and he's a young player whose goalscoring record has been phenomenal in the last three seasons at Ipswich.

"We're particularly pleased to get him at a young age and hopefully he can reproduce that form for us for years to come. He's got great pace, he's a good finisher, and he's good in the air as well. He plays for the team, which is important, and he can play in wide positions if asked too, but overall he's one of those players that we like to bring into the club."

Curbishley still hopes to bring in more new players before he and his team arrive at Watford for Alec's big day - among them Gonzalo Sorondo, who spent last season at Crystal Palace, on a year-long loan from Inter Milan. There are also rumours that Lee Bowyer could be heading back to The Valley, where he first made a name for himself as a talented teenager 10 years ago, before leaving for Leeds United.

The Watford game is one of six pre-season matches for The Addicks, who are preparing for their sixth successive season in The Premiership.

They start their countdown to the new season at Welling on July 14, continuing with trips to Bournemouth, Torquay, Brentford, Queens Park Rangers and Watford, before finishing with home games against Dutch club Feyenoord and AEK Athens of Greece.

Charlton's Premiership season kicks off with a trip to Sunderland on August 13.

Written by Peter Jones, of the PR consultancy Red Alert Media.

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