INTERVIEW | Adel Gafaiti: "I can't wait to get started"
Wealdstone Football Club are delighted to announce the signing of Algerian defender Adel Gafaiti.
The 26-year-old was listed as Trialist T in our last pre-season friendly and will be available for selection against Chesterfield in our National League opener.
Gafaiti moved to the UK in 2011 when he joined Rangers from Nancy at youth level, he has since played for Norwich City, Oldham Athletic (loan), Yeovil Town and Truro City on British soil.
The centre-half was originally born in France but represented Algeria at under-20 level, earning one cap.
Gafaiti said, "I’m really excited to be here and I can't wait to get started. To have the chance to play football at this level is great and I have to thank Dean Brennan for the opportunity he’s giving me to show myself."
The defender assessed his pre-season preparation: "It was weird at the beginning because I didn’t know what was going to happen during and after the lockdown. When I eventually going to playing again with a team, I managed to keep myself fit and healthy.
"I was back home in Paris and I trained for almost three months with the Evina Football Camp, so I've had the chance to have proper training sessions and games with players in the same situation as me, while waiting for the new season to start. When I came back to the UK, I was ready for any challenge."
Gafaiti has been in the UK for over nine years and believes he has adapted to the English style of football: "I’ve always admired the intensity and the speed of play which cannot be found in any other country, and to play my ninth season in the UK means that I really love it!
"As a defender, you don’t have a choice really. It’s either you adapt straight away to this type of football, get tougher and learn how the game is being played, or you will struggle. I’ve been lucky enough to play here for some time and learn all of that quickly and I’m more than ready to get into it again."
The decision to join the Stones was made easy for Gafaiti: "Dean [Brennan]'s style of play wasn’t unknown to my knowledge, so when he was giving me instructions about the way he wanted me to play, to defend and express myself on the pitch, I really liked it and I did my best to apply everything on the football pitch.
"I know that he wants his players to fight for everything and every ball, I love doing that so I’ll do my absolute best to do it as well as I can for him and the team."
It has over six months since Gafaiti's last competitive game, but he is still enthusiastic about the start of the season this weekend: "I’m really excited for Saturday and for what’s coming this season. The whole team have been working really hard to be ready for Saturday, the team and I will be looking forward to finally getting it underway."
Gafaiti has also been informed about the Stones fanbase: "It's unfortunate that we won’t have our fans inside the stadium to support us this weekend, and that’s a blow. Few of the boys told me how passionate, loving and supportive they are towards the team and the whole club. We will have to get the job done for them and hopefully they’ll be able to back in the stadium when the guidelines allow it."