CHARLTON fan and freelance journalist MATT FRICKER is News Shopper online’s Addicks columnist and this week argues Chris Powell is signalling his intent for the season by striking early in the transfer window.

‘An early strike with more to come.’

This is what Chris Powell said when Danny Hollands, Bradley Prichard and Nick Pope were signed last week.

Yes, we can assume out of the three new signings, only Hollands is likely to be a starting XI player, with Prichard looking towards a squad role and Pope joining Connor Gough as a talented young keeper for the future.

But for me, this is a great signal of intent from the Charlton manager, especially as his first signing is a key player from one of our main competitors in League One, AFC Bournemouth.

The signing of Hollands, who has put his name to a three- year- deal, is one I feel very positive about.

Not only is he described as a box-to-box midfielder, but also if he turns out to be anything like the former Charlton legend and partial namesake Matt Holland, we’ll have a new fans’ favourite on our books.

The other positive to take from these early signings is the suggestion money is there and it’s being spent wisely.

We’ve bought three players in on free transfers but with these transfers come signing-on fees, agent’s fees, weekly wages and so on, so actually you need a lot of money just to sign one player, even on a free, something we haven’t had at Charlton for a good few years.

There’s also been confirmation from Powell he’s held initial talks with the players he’s hoping to keep in SE7 next season.

He has also admitted to keeping a keen eye on several other players who, if they were to sign for the Addicks, would provide Charlton Athletic with a very dangerous looking squad for the start of the season.

A lot will inevitably change before the opening game, as we still need several other signings to really compete for promotion, be it new talent, old favourites returning or simply current players re-signing.

This said, while some fans won’t be happy unless we sign Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney as a new look front three, I’m personally feeling very optimistic about the new season.

We are spending money, Powell is talking about signing players with character and aggression and he’s backing up his optimistic words with actions in the transfer market.

And we haven’t even got to July yet!

Follow us on Twitter @NewsShopperSprt