Manager George Graham got his preparations for the 1984/85 season off to a flying start, starting before the final game of the 1983/84 season.
by Michael Hart
Millwall today began their team rebuilding for next season when they signed 27-year-old Aldershot captain Les Briley
Manager George Graham paid £20,000 plus Andy Massey for the Lamberth-born former Chelsea, Hereford and Wimbledon midfield player.
"He was Aldershot's inspiration in their bid for promotion from-Division Four this season", said Graham. "Its possible he'll be my captain next season."
Graham, who is negotiating other signings, has given free transfers to David Stride, Dean White, and Carl Cowley.
Tonight Millwall are way to Plymouth in the southern semi-final of the Associate Members Cup. The winners are away to Bournemouth on Monday.
Because of injuries Graham has had to recall Teddy Sheringham from the England Youth training squad and may also call up another 17-year-old in defender Nicky Coleman for only his second game of the season
Dean Neal is doubtful with a knee ligament injury and Micky Nutton (Achilles injury) and White (ankle) are out
MILLWALL manager George Graham yesterday explained the thinking behind his shock
changes at The Den.
OUT go skipper Dean White, defenders David Stride and Carl Cowley and midfield man Andy Massey.
IN comes former Wimbledon midfield man Les Briley, signed from Aldershot. Massey leaves for Aldershot and the deal is topped up with a £20,000 payment from Millwall.
Graham wrapped up his dramatic end-of-season manoeuvres by offering new contracts to former skipper Nicky Chatterton and defender Keith Stevens.
The Den chief said, "I've decided to let White go because he's had a very poor season on the pitch. He has a marvelous attitude - that’s why I made him captain -but I have to find better players for our midfield."
Stride looks likely to return to America and Graham explained, "He has been living in Southampton all the time he has been with Millwall and is close re-arranging a new club."
Young centre half Cowley is recovering from a make-or-break operation to cure a weakness in his foot and Graham said the club will offer him a short-term contract, if he needs it.
Briley, who left Wimbledon for Fourth Division Aldershot in a £43,000 deal, should prove only the first of Graham's new signings. He said, "I have some other players in mind."
White, who joined the Lions in a swap deal that took Dean Horrix to Gillingham, played just 40 League games for Millwall.
Massey, who as a Deptford youngster sold sweets from The Den touchline, was never able to establish himself in the Lions line-up. Millwall were last night fighting for a regional final place in the Associate Members' Cup at Plymouth.
Clear-out at The Den
By Brian Stater
All Change: Dean White
All Change: David Stride
DEAN WHITE'S hopes of moving back to Gillingham were dashed yesterday.
White, given a free transfer by Millwall last week, left Gillingham for The Den in the swap deal involving Dean Horrix. But Gillingham boss Keith Peacock told me yesterday, "We are overstocked with midfield players at the moment and I can't see any role for Dean.
"He is certainly good enough to play League football. He's an honest club player but there's no room for him back here."
Twenty-five-year-old skipper White, who has bought a house near to Gillingham's ground, said yesterday, "Obviously, a move back to Gillingham would have suited me fine."
But I understand that White has been offered a deal by a foreign club. He added, "I have been so troubled by injuries this season that I've only played 19 games.
During that time the club have been good to me, paying me full wages and bonuses. But it was still something of a shock to he told I was no longer wanted."
Last night, Millwall were playing their Associate Members Cup regional final at Bournemouth
MILLWALL boss George Graham has been tipped as top choice to take over at Portsmouth.
Graham played for the Fratton Park side during an illustrious career and his name had gone alongside others like Alan Mullery, Alan Ball, Keith Burkinshaw, Mick Mills and Lou Macari.
Graham said: "I haven't been approached by anyone from Portsmouth and I have a contract at the Den and a job to do."
"It's an interesting job at Pompey but I have
probably the best chairman in
the game at this club. I've been taught that if you get a good chairman
you stay with him."
"People expected us to gain promotion this year, but I knew we weren't good enough after about quarter of the way through. We did well to finish ninth. "I'm very happy at Millwall and feel we have the makings of a good future."
Nicky Chatterton and Keith Stevens still haven't made up their minds about signing new contracts.
By Brian Stater
TONY KINSELLA is poised to make a dramatic return to The Den.
Millwall chief George Graham expects to clinch the signing from First Division Ipswich later this week.
Kinsella, now 23, was one of the teenage stars of Millwall’s FA Youth Cup winning team of 1979. After 55 Third Division appearances, he left the Lions for American giants Tampa Bay Rowdies in a joint £150,000 deal with David Mehmet in 1981.
He returned to English soccer in a £60,000 move to Ipswich a year later and has made a handful of First Division appearances. Yesterday he was talking terms with Graham at The Den.
A delighted Graham said, "He’s a left-sided player who can operate either in midfield or on the wing. There aren't a lot of those lads about. Every club I know is looking for good left-footed players."
Graham added, "Tony was outstanding as a youngster here, but his career has stagnated in the last couple of seasons. But he’s still young enough to recapture his promise. I was astonished when I found out how young he is."
Kinsella has been handed a free transfer by Ipswich and Graham has now to iron out contract details before completing the signing.
Meanwhile, Lindsay Smith remains a target for the Lions boss. Plymouth are asking £50,000 for the big defender, but Graham remains hopeful that he can persuade them to accept a more realistic figure.
Kinsella: Talking terms at the Den
Millwall are unlikely to face any disciplinary action follows a disturbance at their Associate Members' Cup clash at Bournemouth last week.
The Football League have written to Bournemouth seeking their view's but I understand. the south coast club will recommend. that the matter should not be taken further.
by Brian Stater
Tony Kinsella reckons his Millwall comeback will bring him in from the soccer wilderness. The 23-year-old midfield man completed his move from Ipswich late this week after ironing out formalities with Den chief George Graham.
The deal ends a bleak Spell for Kinsella, who was one of the brightest stars of the brilliant Millwall youth team of the late seventies.
He said, "I'm very pleased to he going back. When I left, to go to America three years ago, everything looked marvelous.
"I was in the Irish under-21 team, we had won the FA Youth Cup and the future looked set."
"But I haven't been able to settle anywhere since that move. The football in America with Tampa Bay Rowdies wasn’t too clever. I didn't enjoy it at all. Then Bobby Robson signed me for Ipswich but that was just before he got the England job and my face didn't fit with the new manager, Bobby Ferguson.
"George Graham, saw me a couple of times in the Ipswich reserves and as soon as Millwall heard I'd been given a free transfer they got on to me."
Kinsella: Back at the Den
Kinsella and his wife, Debbie, plan to move to Kent from their Ipswich home in the next few months. And he should have no trouble settling in at The Den - Dave Martin, Paul Robinson and Paul Sansome survive at the club from his youth team days.
MILLWALL chief George Graham is cursing his luck after being beaten to the
signing of Middlesbrough's Mick Baxter.
The 27-year-old central defender had been locked in a wages wrangle with Boro and opted to go to Portsmouth.
Graham said, "I was very close to signing him, if he hadn't gone to Portsmouth he would definitely have come here.
There were two reasons behind his decision. One was that Portsmouth are Second Division side
and there was a financial difference as well."
Graham added, "Mick's father used to coach me when I was at Aston Villa and it would have been very nice to have him with us."
“Meanwhile Graham-is unlikely complete any further signings before starting a summer break on Friday.
The Lions have arranged a glamour pre-season friendly against First Division Aston Villa at The Den on August 4