Josh Rees returns to Bromley after leaving Gillingham while Charlton Athletic re-sign Erhun Oztumer

Friday 16th August 2019

BROMLEY manager Neil Smith has confirmed the return of midfielder Josh Rees, just hours after his departure from League One side Gillingham.

The 25-year-old will certainly be no stranger to Bromley supporters, having played a huge part in the club’s successful 2017-18 season, scoring 20 goals from midfield in all competitions, helping the Ravens reach The Buildbase FA Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium.

Smith told “We’ve always stayed in contact with Josh. When the situation arose, we acted quickly to ensure we could bring him back home and we welcome him with open arms.

“We know what Josh can bring to this team, and it brings competition for places. Everyone will have to be at their absolute best to get into this team.”

Rees added: “It’s good to be back. I spent some good time here before and had one of the most enjoyable seasons of my career so far, obviously a lot has changed but a lot of the same principles still remain from when I was last here before.

“It’s good to be back in a familiar environment with people I respect and enjoy to work with. We’ve got a great squad here and we’re going to push high up in the league hopefully.”

Bromley travel to Hartlepool United tomorrow, sitting in fifth-place in the Vanarama National League table, following their maiden league win over Aldershot Town in midweek.

“August in the National League is always a bit of a slog, so you need to have a squad capable of keeping up with it,” said Rees.

“We have a long trip to Hartlepool, which I am used to, it felt like we spent most of our time in the North East when I was last here, then it will be good to get back to Hayes Lane, familiar surroundings and I place where I have some fond memories”.

Rees, who will wear the number 25 shirt for Bromley, also stressed the importance of his relationship with Smith.

“Myself and the gaffer have a great relationship anyway, we always kept in contact throughout my time at Gillingham, Bromley was the first team I looked for when the results came in on a Saturday.  It was a quick conversation to bring me back here. I was impressed by the vision, the same as the last time I was here, the club is going in an even better direction now”.

The move back to Hayes Lane came following Gillingham manager Steve Evans agreeing to terminate Rees’ contract at Priestfield Stadium.

Rees, who signed for the Gills on a two-year contract in the summer of 2018, made 23 appearances in total for the League One club, scoring two goals, including the winner in a 3-2 win at Burton Albion in January.

Evans told “Josh is a great kid and will be a real asset to any club at Conference National level.  We wish him every success.

“He has been unlucky here given our options and what we are trying to do.”

Gillingham’s game at troubled Bury tomorrow has been suspended by The EFL, so their next game will be against Blackpool at Priestfield Stadium next Tuesday 20 August (19:45).

Meanwhile, Championship side Charlton Athletic have unveiled the signing of midfielder Erhun Oztumer, 28, from financially troubled League One side Bolton Wanderers on a two-year contract.

Oztumer was granted permission by the EFL to leave Bolton Wanderers on a free transfer earlier this week.

Given his circumstances, as he requested the free transfer before last week’s transfer deadline, he will be available to play for the Addicks immediately.

Oztumer nearly joined Charlton on loan in January and becomes the Addicks 13th signing of a busy summer.

The Greenwich-born attacking midfielder grew up in the Addicks’ renowned academy and said he told that he was pleased to be back at Sparrows Lane.

He said:  "It feels great. It's nice to see a few faces I haven't seen in a while. I'm very happy to be here and looking forward to enjoying football again.

"I'm a local lad and I've kept an eye on Charlton since I left, so I'm happy to be happy to be here, playing in the Championship. The team has started really well so I'll fight for my place, work hard and see where it takes us."

Charlton manager Lee Bowyer was pleased to finally sign Oztumer, on the eve of their trip to Barnsley.

He said: "It's a bonus one for us. He's a very good player, he scores goals, gets assists, he's a local lad. Obviously we tried to bring him in during January but it didn't work out for us. He brings a bit of flair and that craft and cleverness in the final third. I'm looking forward to working with him."

Head of Recruitment Steve Gallen added: "He's a skillful player, he's tricky, he's bright, he's clever. He sees things that a lot of the players don't see. We've been interested in him since we started tracking him to try and bring him in during January, so we're really pleased to finally get Erhun in here." 

After leaving the Addicks academy Oztumer spent a year with non-League Fisher Athletic and made the move to Turkey in 2008 where he represented Manisaspor, Sivasspor and Anadolu Üsküdar, but it was back in south London where he started to make his name. 

Joining Dulwich Hamlet in 2012, he scored a huge amount of goals at Champion Hill, prompting Peterborough United to bring him into the Football League in 2014. 

After two seasons at London Road, he signed for Walsall where he continued to impress, earning a place in the League One Team of the Year in both 2017 and 2018 while scoring 32 goals in 95 appearances for the Saddlers before his move to Bolton in 2018, appearing 19 times for the Trotters. 

Oztumer will wear number 29 for the Addicks this season.

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