Tuesday 15th July 2003
Cray boss Jenkins aims for Kent Trophy triumph
After winning the Go Travel Kent League championship and League Cup last season, Cray Wanderers manager Ian Jenkins is aiming to land the Kent Senior Trophy this season to go with their trophy collection, writes Stephen McCartney.
Late goals from David Gray and Richard Dimmock in a 2-0 win over Lordswood sealed the Go Travel Kent League title at Hayes Lane at the end of April before a brace from Jamie Wood secured the double with a 2-0 win over VCD Athletic to land the Kent League Cup at Folkestone Invicta.
Jenkins revealed: "My aim for this season is to better last year. We won the League and League Cup and it would be nice to win the Kent Senior Trophy."
After only two training sessions under their belts, the Wands played their first pre-season friendly on Saturday against Ryman League Division One South Dulwich Hamlet. Hamlet, with four training sessions under their belts won the game 3-0, but it was a chance for Jenkins to run the rule over 23 players which contained several trialists.
"The game was played in very hot conditions, and I had a squad of 22-23 players to look at and I changed the team at half time to play trialists." said Jenkins.
After the success from last season it is no surprise that clubs from a higher level have swooped for Cray's players. Only two players have left the club with Drew Watkins joining Dr Martens League Eastern Division side Folkestone Invicta and Mark Willy training with Ryman League Division One South landlords Bromley.
Jenkins predicts bigger things from left back Willy. He said: "Mark is a very good player and it's a shame to lose him. He is far too good for the standard we play in. He can go higher than Bromley and he will be a very good signing for them. I hope he plays on a regular basis. He is a left back who scored fourteen goals last season, mainly scoring with headers from set pieces."
Willy joins another former Cray Wanderers player at Bromley and he hopes to follow in Joe Vines footsteps. Vines was persuaded to make the switch from Cray Wanderers to Bromley last summer by Jenkins opposite number Stuart McIntyre. Vines slotted in at the heart of Bromley's defence alongside experienced Mark Harris and his consistent performances helped him win all three player of the year awards following his step up from Kent League football.
Jenkins revealed he has signed Jamie Kempster from Go Travel Kent League rivals Maidstone United and Billy McCarthy from Whitstable Town.
Cray chairman Gary Hillman, who puts in a lot of hard work for the Wands, will be standing down as chairman at the end of the season. He will remain at the club in some capacity and hopes to bring someone in with money to take the club further.
Jenkins admitted: "I am very ambitious and I will consider any offers from other clubs."
Jenkins feels threatened from the challenges from Maidstone United, Herne Bay, Thamesmead Town and Deal Town.
Jenkins can cast an eye over Maidstone United when his side face the Stones in the Charity Shield at Bromley FC, Hayes Lane on Saturday 2 August. His defence of the title gets underway seven days later, but at the time of writing no fixture details were at hand.
Looking at the new season, Jenkins said: "We had a good season and it will be very hard to do what we did last year."
"My best moments from last season was winning the league in our last game. We left it late with goals from David Gray and Richard Dimmock. We strolled the cup final against VCD Athletic at Folkestone Invicta, and the chairman paid for a night out in Folkestone after the game."