Tuesday 28th June 2005

Dockers reveal incentives for potential new signings



The general manager at Kentish Observer Kent League side Erith Town is relishing the start of the new season with a new management team in place, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Dockers have appointed John Kasapi as their new manager and he has brought with him Keith D'Urso and Bob Harrell from Greenwich Borough.

General manager Ian Birrell - who wears many hats for the club - including duties as reserve team manager and programme editor - is confident last season's squad will stay loyal to the club.

"The league position from last year speaks for itself and we need substantial improvement," he admitted in an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk

"We are confident we've got the management team to help steer us in that direction.

"We are confident the core of last season's squad - along with the new players brought to the club - will take the football club forward."

Birrell, however, gave an insight to what the club can offer potential new signings - but if players want financial gain, this club isn't for them.

"We like to think that our facilities, which are certainly amongst the best in the league, along with the comprehensive insurance scheme we run for our players - which a lot of club's don't - in the event of injuries will give thought to those players who only think of small payouts per game from some clubs in our league.

"Not all clubs in this league have a comprehensive insurance package that Erith Town have."

Players that suffer from injuries whilst playing football for the club, and cannot work as a result, will receive £100 per week, or £50 per week if they are students, from the insurance scheme.

"We don't pay our players, obviously we would strive to, but it's something we aren't planning to do in the near future," said Birrell.

But the playing surface at the Erith Sports Stadium is one of the best in the county along with the pitches at Beckenham Town, Dover Athletic, Welling United/Erith & Belvedere and Tonbridge Angels.

The stadium boasts the best dressing room facilities in the Kent League.

And Kent League fans now have something to look forward to when their teams travel to play the Dockers in winter.

Last season I witnessed two games at the stadium, and one of them, their 2-0 win over Tunbridge Wells, on a freezing cold, wet Monday night, put me off going there again as you were open to the elements.

There will now be covered shelter for around 80 fans in a balcony above the 1100 uncovered seats in the stadium.

The bar - which the club doesn't generate any funds - will also re-open in time for the club's pre-season friendlies against Bromley, Welling United and Dartford.

But the club are hopeful that some sections of the uncovered seating will be covered in time for the 2006-07 campaign.