Monday 16th May 2005

Fleet benefit from being full-time

NATIONWIDE CONFERENCE club Gravesend & Northfleet are pleased to announce the signing of former Charlton Athletic striker Charlie MacDonald, writes Stephen McCartney.

The 24-year-old began his career at the Valley where he made a handful of first-team appearances and has also played for Cheltenham Town, Torquay United and Colchester United before drifting into non-league football with Margate, Stevenage Borough and Crawley Town.

He told the club's website: "I am delighted to be on board and looking forward to the oncoming season and scoring many goals for Gravesend & Northfleet and competing for promotion.

"It has been three years since I left Charlton, this will be my first full-time club since then, which is a major factor for me coming to Gravesend and I relish the challenge.

"I hadn't met the gaffer (Liam Daish) before now and I really appreciate him giving me the opportunity of full-time football at Gravesend."

Meanwhile the club has released four players and allowed two more to move on.  Goalkeeper Paul Wilkerson, Moussa Sidibe, Nathan Bunce and Roy Essendoh have been released, while Lee Gledhill and James Pinnock have joined former assistant manager Adrian Pennock at Nationwide South outfit Welling United.

Meanwhile, whilst the season may have ended for the Fleet, the off-the-field activities continue to gather momentum with the re-launch of the "Football in the Community" scheme.

The Kent club recognise the need to demonstrate a proactive stance in the support of local community developments.

Through the recent announcement of Chris Baker as the Fleet Leisure Community Liaison Officer, the club intend to work closely with local schools, youth clubs, football leagues and other related youth organisations in support of community based initiatives.

Utilising the recently acquired Fleet Leisure and Sports Club (formerly Beauwaters Sports club) the club will be hosting numerous functions which will be open to the public throughout the coming months.

These will not just be restricted to football but will include other sports as well as wider community events.

The first of these "Fleet in the Community" events takes place over the half term holiday from Tuesday 31st May through to Friday 3rd June with the very first Junior Football School being held at the Fleet Leisure & Sports Club, Nelson Road, Gravesend from 10am through to 3pm.

The club's team of qualified football coaches will coach the children various skills whilst also ensuring the event is filled with fun with games with daily prizes and the odd special guest such as first team players or even Hooky the club's mascot.

The course is open to all children from the ages of 5 to 12.  All children taking part will receive a medal at the end of the week and there will be prizes for the best overall performers.

Community Liaison Officer Chris Baker told the club's website: "It's a very exciting time for the club with the newly acquired facilities at Fleet Leisure offering excellent opportunities for the club to provide community based schemes and entertainment.

"The community section is a new and vital part of the club and we hope to forge some strong links and many organisations in the area.

"I am looking forward to everyone and if anyone feels their organisation can benefit from our excellent facilities and highly qualified staff please contact the club."

If your child is interested in taking part in the Junior Football School please contact the club for an application form 01474 533 796.

(Please mention to the club you read this on www.kentishfootball.co.uk)