Former Liverpool club doctor joins Crystal Palace

Written by Matt Woosnam

Former Liverpool club doctor Zafar Iqbal has joined Crystal Palace, he has confirmed to BBC Asian Network.

With the training ground at Beckenham being refurbished, this appears to be a step in the right direction with recruiting non-playing staff and improving facilities.

A club statement from Liverpool in January stated that Iqbal had left because of "personal family reasons", which he has revealed were related to the ill health of his son who lived in London.

"Unfortunately my son has been unwell, and so as a result of that my wife and kids were based in London. That meant that although I had my dream job working at Liverpool, I was commuting back and forth, which was fine for the first couple of years.

"In 2012 I became head of the department, and with that came added responsibilities, so I had less time to actually get back to London

"Something had to give, I had a great time up in Liverpool, but as anyone will tell you family wins every time, and I had to get back to London."

He says he is keen to begin work in London with Palace.

"I’m really looking forward to it. Crystal Palace are a fantastic club, they are based in London, which was really important for me."

He spent four-and-a-half years with the Reds and has now been appointed at Palace.

At Liverpool his duties were to perform medicals on new signings and he was responsible for the treatment of all players.

Iqbal began his medical career in football as team doctor at Leyton Orient, before moving to working with Tottenham's Academy and becoming first-team doctor i

He has previously held the position of Chairman of the FA Medical Society.

No news on previous Palace medic Dr Bill Jasper, who had been at the club for some time, but everyone at FYP wishes him the best if he has left the Eagles.

Crystal Palace snap up teenage winger on professional contract

Written by Matt Woosnam

It was a flurry of activity at Palace on Thursday as they announced three new contracts and their first signing of the summer.

Included in that was the news that talented young winger Aaron Bissaka has signed a three-year professional contract with the club.

The 17-year-old first year scholar was a key part of Richard Shaw's Under 16 side before being promoted to the U18s last year, where he made an impact in several different positions.

He spent most of his time competing with Elliot List, Andre Coker and Levi Lumeka for a spot on the left wing, and with his pace and good passing range he showed considerable ability.

After doing well in the U18 side, he was promoted to Gary Issott's U21 squad, where he made three appearances and scored one goal.

He made a total of 25 appearances for the U18s last season and scored four times.


Crystal Palace youngsters Jake Gray and Ryan Inniss sign new contracts

Written by Matt Woosnam

Development players Jake Gray and Ryan Inniss have both signed new contracts with the Crystal Palace, the club confirmed on Thursday.
Jake Gray

Both highly rated, they will extend their stay at Selhurst Park for another two years after bagging contracts with their previous deals close to expiry.

Gray joined the club from Wycombe Wanderers aged 16 and burst onto the scene with a superb performance against Liverpool in an U18 league match, while he also made his first team debut last season in the Capital One Cup victory over Walsall before appearing again in the following round's defeat by Newcastle, coming on as a late second half substitute and impressing greatly.

He has been instrumental in the Under 21 side's title-winning efforts last season, and has become a central figure in Gary Issott's plans.

The 19-year-old winger took part in last season's tour of the USA and Austria, with Tony Pulis seeing plenty of talent in him. 

A loan spell to Cheltenham was relatively successful earlier this year, but with a change in manager, he was unable to spend more than a month at the club. Nonetheless, he managed to grab an assist on his debut. 

Inniss has been with the club from a young age, and was courted by Manchester City as a 15-year-old, but Palace were able to reward him with a three-year professional contract which began on his 17th birthday, and he has now been given another three-year deal after that contract expired.

He has represented England in the Victory Shield at Under 16 level, but since then has not made any in-roads into the international scene. 

Inniss gained experience in the Football League with Cheltenham, Luton, Gillingham and Yeovil, before making an impressive impact at Port Vale last season. 

Injury curtailed his loan spell with the Valiants, and they were keen to sign him permanently, but were put off by the £600,000 asking price. 

It is likely that Inniss will re-join on a season-long loan next season, with the old-school centre back looking to put injury problems behind him and again show the form that has made him almost indispensible to Port Vale.

Crystal Palace announce first signing of the summer

Written by Matt Woosnam

Crystal Palace have announced former Hibernian goalkeeper Kleton Perntreou as their first summer signing.
Kleton Perntreou

The 20-year-old was available on a free transfer following his release by the Hibees and Palace have acted quickly to snap him up.

He is likely to compete in the Under 21 side with fellow goalkeepers David Gregory and Chris Kettings, although there is hope that loan moves will be found for the pair, making it likely Perntreou would be the first choice U21 keeper.

Perntreou kept three clean sheets for Hibs in successive games for Hibs in 2014, and will be an interesting addition to the development squad. 

He has been described as a good shot-stopper and a 'keeper who likes to come off his line for crosses.

The Albanian born goalkeeper spent just one season at Hibs after signing from Bristol City last summer.