Gabbidon in confident mood

Last updated : 14 July 2003 By Michael Morris

Tip for the top

DANNY Gabbidon is reaching for a sensational soccer double with Cardiff City and Wales.

He believes the Bluebirds can leap straight into the Premiership - and Wales will qualify for the Euro 2004 finals.

City have already strengthened their squad by signing John Robinson from Charlton Athletic, and are intent on adding another two or three players before the start of Nationwide League fixtures in August.

"There is no reason we can't be up there with the top teams in Division One," said Gabbidon, who is in full training and is in the squad for City's three-match Scandinavian tour starting on Friday.

"The ideal for me would be for Cardiff City to qualify for the play-offs at least or even go up automatically.
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Sam prepared to waiting game in signings search

SAM Hammam is keeping his nerve in the battle to attract top-quality talent to join Cardiff City's First Division campaign.

The transfer window opens at the start of August, and that will increase pressure on Premiership clubs aiming to trim their squads.

Bluebirds owner Hammam is biding his time over top players like Gary Doherty, of Tottenham, and Chelsea's Jody Morris, aiming to squeeze out the best possible deal for the club.

Spurs, for instance, want £1.2m for central defender Doherty - and City have offered £600,000.

If the London club want the 23-yaer-old Irishman , to move on, then Hammam is prepared to wait for their valuation to drop.

He runs the risk of another Premiership club nipping in during August, but few, if any, Nationwide League sides could match City's spending power.
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Friends United in keeper fight

NEIL Alexander will go head-to-head with his best mate this season.

The Scot is certain to start the season as Cardiff City's number one keeper, but he knows Martyn Margetson is awaiting his chance and would love to be top dog.

"We're great friends and room-mates on away trips," said Alexander. "Martyn is a fantastic goalkeeper and he pushed me all the way last season.

"He brought out better performances from me because he is such a good player.

"We earned our reward by going up last season. Okay, we did it the hard way, through the play-offs, but we are in Division One.

"It's going to be a big challenge for me personally and, if I don't do the business, Martyn will be in, no problem.
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Uefa Cup challenge for City's ladies

CARDIFF City ladies fly out on a European adventure today, ready to take on opposition from Kazakhstan, Bosnia Herzegovina and hosts Croatia.

Welsh Cup winners Cardiff City are taking 18 players to Osijek, Croatia, for their Uefa Women's Cup group and the youngest is Kayleigh Green, 15, who has yet to make her first team debut.

Bluebirds owner Sam Hammam has helped the club's ladies team fund their trip and is keen to see them earn success in Europe.

Welsh internationals Katie Daley, Helen Jones and captain Caroline Cooper are all making the trip, one which is a boost to Welsh soccer at a time when the national women's team have been withdrawn from the European Championships because of funding issues.

"It's disappointing the Welsh senior team will not be competing in Europe and that makes it even more important Cardiff City give a good account of ourselves," said 17-year-old Daley.
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