Monday 02nd May 2005

Please credit this article to Stephen McCartney - www.kentishfootball.co.uk

Kinnear's future is still with Margate

SPEAKING after his side clinched the John Ullmann Kent Senior Cup for the third season running, Chris Kinnear has hinted his future is still at Hartsdown Park, writes Stephen McCartney.

Craig Cloke's 26th minute penalty had given Dover Athletic the lead at the Wetsbourne Stadium in Folkestone but goals from Margate strikers' Che Stadhart (45) and Rocky Baptiste's 68th minute header made sure the silverware remained at Hartsdown Park for another year.

Thousands of pounds was raised for Carly Sykes' and her nine-month old son Thomas, as 2,374 fans flocked through the turnstiles to pay tribute to Kent footballer Paul Sykes' who collapsed and later died, playing for Folkestone Invicta against his former club Margate in the semi-final on the 12th April.

Despite their second successive relegation, and going into administration last Friday, Kinnear has hinted he will still be in charge at the start of next season - with the club back at Hartsdown Park after three years groundsharing at Dover Athletic (2 years) and Ashford Town.

"We're going into this administration and then it will clear debts and we'll start the season, I'd like to think, with no debts and as the chairman said onward and upward. That's something that I am looking forward to doing," Kinnear admitted.

Despite their drop Kinnear is hoping history will repeat its self and the club will bounce back.

"To try and get into the Conference twice with Dover, we did get in there with Dover and we've done it once with Margate.  It's not as if we've not done it before, Kevin (Raine) and I, we'll be striving to do that - we've been there before many times.

"The last season we had an average gate of 1,800 and made a profit of £30,000 so it's there to be done and with a new ground we'll go from strength to strength."

Work is taking place at Hartsdown Park to make sure league football is played there in August.

"It's starting to be developed now," said Kinnear.  "The pitch is level now, next week they'll starting bringing in all the top soil.  

"If I'm there you'll know everything's up and running."

Despite many offers to become a full-time manager at several clubs in the past, Kinnear appears to be content with life as part-time manager at the Thanet club.

"We've got a chance, as I'll only be at a club that's got a chance to move forward.  But three years ago when we moved away (from Hartsdown Park) I thought we'd be back pretty quick.

"If I'm there at the beginning of the season you should watch Margate as we'll have a good chance.

"Margate will get back to where they were and with what is happening at the ground the football club will possibly go another step further."

When asked if he wants to go full-time elsewhere, Kinnear added: "Not in this moment in time.  There's been a few jobs I could have had if I was prepared to go full-time but I've got a young family and it's a bit precarious really, it's a bit short sighted. 

"I'll have two wages coming in, I've got a pension building up and I've still got years as a manager still left in me.

"In non-league football with part-time players it's very difficult to be full-time with the way things are."