Tuesday 05th April 2005

Fleet move towards full-time football

FOLLOWING a board meeting last week Gravesend & Northfleet Football Club has decided now is the time to make the transition to full-time football, writes Stephen McCartney.

The club is putting in place the financial structure to underpin the move and the Beauwater site coming on-line means training facilities are now available.

Speaking on the club's website, chairman Brian Kilcullen said:  "We are very excited about what is a major landmark in the club's history.

"We realise for the club to go on to the next stage of its development then we need to go full-time, not just for the sake of it but to enable the club to improve on and off the pitch.

"I must also stress that we will tread carefully in what is a major step and the change will be a transitional one.

"Our focus is to keep the hard core of the existing squad together and those that want to remain part-time will do so. However, those that want to go full-time will be encouraged and when targeting new players we will have full-time football as an option".

A combination of day-time and evening sessions will allow the playing staff to have sufficient time with the playing squad to ensure there are benefits from the change. Being full-time will also make it easier to integrate the best youngsters in the club's youth scheme into first team football.

"We recognise there will be teething problems but we will plan out and be cautious in what we do" said Kilcullen. "We do not believe you can go full-time overnight as that would mean totally rebuilding a team. That is not what we want to do. We have many excellent players who have served the club well and want to keep them".

Gravesend & Northfleet v Morecambe
Nationwide Conference
Saturday 9th April 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Stonebridge Road, Northfleet