Friday 03rd June 2005

Beckenham admit defeat in "Super" Mario transfer saga

BECKENHAM TOWN have today admitted defeat in the "Super" Mario Celaire transfer saga, with Kent League rivals Maidstone United prising away their asset with the lure of a one-year-contract, writes Stephen McCartney.

The highly-rated defender has caused a lot of interest since the last day of May when Maidstone United announced they had signed the highly-rated defender from the Eden Park Avenue outfit.

Yesterday both clubs insisted they had signed the player for next season but today they have both issued statements on their websites to say Celaire will be wearing the amber and black of Maidstone United next season after all.

Beckenham Town, however, were left reeling losing a player of Celaire's stature.

"You can't lose a player like Mario without feeling disappointed," said their statement.

"However, we have a structured commitment to improve our ground and are not prepared to commit in other areas.

"The ground improvements must take priority.  We made Mario a very good offer, however, when you are in an auction situation you must put a ceiling in place before you start bidding.

"Let's just say Maidstone's idea of ceiling heights are more Victorian than ours."

Stones' chairman Paul Bowden-Brown and coach Alan Walker, however, were delighted to have finally got their man.

"I hope that this shows everybody that I am fully supportive of our management team of Lloyd Hume and Alan Walker and that Maidstone United are only interested in signing players of the best quality.  I truly believe that Mario Celaire falls into that category," said the chairman.

Walker, the former Sittingbourne, Tonbridge Angels and Bromley manager added: "I, like all Maidstone fans cannot wait to see Mario pull on a Stones shirt for the first time.  It shows that by signing players like Mario and Mo Takaloo (from Ramsgate), that this season we will mean business."

The man in the centre of this transfer saga, Celaire, is relishing the chance playing for the Stones.

After committing himself to the Stones to a one-year FA contract and signing the relevant paperwork to play Kent League football for Maidstone United, Celaire said: "Hopefully I'll have a lot to offer Maidstone.  It seems like quite a strong team and I'm looking forward to being a part of it.

"I'm looking forward to playing in front of the group of fans that Maidstone has.  I always seem to play better in front of a bigger crowd.  I'll definitely be looking to achieve promotion too."