ACCRINGTON Stanley are hoping international Romuald Boco will turn out to be "one of the biggest signings the club has ever made."
Manager John Coleman swooped to snap up the 20-year-old Benin captain on Wednesday's transfer deadline after a week on trial at the Interlink.
"He has good movement, plenty of ability and an international pedigree. He is ambitious and has played in the French Second Division. We heard about him through and agent and he has done well on trial. He should be good for us," said the manager, who has signed the African attacking midfielder until Christmas
But chairman Eric Whalley has gone one step further in his praise of French-speaking Boco, who has 14 caps, is nicknamed "Rommy", is a hero in his own country and has played in front of crowds of 50,000.
"He is very talented and has the potential to be one of the biggest signings the club has ever made," said the chairman.
Boco was the Benin Under 20 captain when they finished third in the African Championships and he helped his side get through to the World Under 20 Championships. He was also involved in the 2004 African Nations Cup and played for Chamois Niortais in the French league.
And, provided international clearance is granted, he should make his debut against 19th placed Woking at home tomorrow (ko 1pm) along with Stanley's other new signing, Paul Brown, who has come on loan from Tranmere Rovers. He plays on either flank and will be 21 next week.
"Both new signings should be involved tomorrow," confirmed the boss, whose last international signing was Lutel James who played for St Kitts and Nevis.
Coleman had also been trying to get a defender in on loan from a league club but it just didn't happen while Stanley winger Matt O'Neill has moved out on a one month loan spell to UniBond side Radcliffe Borough.
"We needed to shake things up a bit and hopefully these additions will do this while Matty needed to get more first team experience," said the boss.
And the Reds chief is desperate for it to all come right in the early kick off against the Cards because of England's World Cup qualifier against Wales.
Stanley haven't won in three league games with defeats against Cambridge and Exeter and the 2-2 draw with Scarborough on Monday when the Reds squandered a two-goal lead.
"That felt like a defeat," admitted the boss as his side slipped to 12th in the league "It is a difficult time for the players but they are a good set of lads and they have got to bounce back.
"We have conceded seven goals in three games and that is disappointing and I don't think there has been one good goal scored in them - we have given too many bad goals away. We know we have got to improve and be careful that a gap doesn't appear between us and the top few.
"Everyone is beating each other in this league at the moment so we know with a couple of wins we can be back up there. From what I have seen this season, we should be one of the front runners. We're good enough but we have got to toughen up and it has got to be soon."
Stanley have played four games against Woking - three draws and then the Cards won with a last gasp controversial goal at the end of last season which all but ended Stanley's play-off hopes and boosted the Cards - although they eventually finished eighth.
"That was a real sickener and I will make sure that thought is fresh in the players minds when we play them tomorrow," added Coleman. "They are a well-organised side and haven't had the best of starts but sometimes you don't get what you deserve at the start of the season and it could be a false position."
Defender Andy Tretton is still recovering from a bruised knee while captain Peter Cavanagh picked up a knock against Scarborough.
Meanwhile, Stanley's goalkeeper crisis seems to have eased. They have had a staggering eight goalies on their books since the start of the season and suffered again last week when ex-Everton keeper Craig Gallagher injured his back, the day after signing up.
But Darren Randolph, a Republic of Ireland keeper from Charlton, has signed on loan for a month and he played against Exeter and Scarborough. And Stanley have now also signed veteran keeper ex-Wales international Andy Dibble, 40, who has played at 16 clubs, as cover and a coach.
"Accrington is a great move for me," Randolph, 19, told the Charlton web-site. "They are a very attacking team which means I'll get plenty of work to do. I have a whole month here and I am really looking forward to it."
STANLEY are in action on Tuesday at the Interlink against Great Harwood in the annual VMI Trophy (ko 7.45pm). Harwood won last year on penalties.
EX-REDS keeper Paul Crichton has joined Gillingham as a player/coach.
EXETER City manager Alex Inglethorpe has won the Nationwide Conference Manager of the Month award.