Cugley: Let's make a good impression - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Monday 10th July 2006

Written by Stephen McCartney, Editor

Pre-Season Friendly
Wednesday 12th July 2006
Kick Off 7:30pm
At Buzzlines Stadium, Cheriton Road, Folkestone

Folkestone Invicta get their ten-match pre-season campaign underway on Wednesday night when their League One “neighbours” Gillingham visit the Buzzlines Stadium, writes Stephen McCartney.

Twelve months ago, second half goals from Danny Byfield and substitute Carl Wilson-Dennis, gave the Gills a 2-0 win over their Ryman Premier League hosts.

And a solitary first half strike from Matt Jarvis gave the Gills another victory a year before that.

But Neil Cugley, the manager of Folkestone Invicta, whose now entering his tenth season at the helm, wants his side to impress against Kent’s two full-time club’s this week.

Liam Daish’s Gravesend & Northfleet, who ply their trade in the Nationwide Conference, visit on Saturday.

But these two games will give Cugley’s players an opportunity to work on their fitness against professional players.

In an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with this evening, Cugley (pictured) explained what he wants from his players this week.

“Mainly fitness,” he said. “I want the players to enjoy it. I am not looking for anything special but to put on a good show and prove that we’re not too far from the fitness of full-time clubs.

“But you want to put on a good show, people to enjoy their football and a win would be nice.”

The former Ashford Town manager, meanwhile, revealed he’s at full strength for his side’s first outing of the new season, and he explained why he’s been very quiet on the transfer front.

One player to leave the club is North Londoner James Fraser (pictured, below), and Cugley explained why the quick striker has left the club.


He said: “Obviously he lives in North London and we couldn’t guarantee him a first team place.

“He travels a long way and we agreed between the both of us that if he was a local player it would be different.”

Cugley, did, however, admit that he’s happy with his current squad - but will continue to draft in youngsters into his slender first team squad.

“That will be squad that finished the season,” Cugley said of his selection for Wednesday night.

“I’ve said before Folkestone have made the changes in a short while and we’ve calmed down and we’ll build on the performances at the latter end of last season.”

But he added: “Any manager would like a bigger squad but you have to be realistic sometimes. But we’ve got a good balance to the 15-16 man squad.”

And if a crowd of a figure approaching 1,000 turn up to see Folkestone in action against Kent’s only Coca-Cola League side, that will be the shot in the arm Invicta needs financially.

Former Gills’ stars, Mark Saunders (player-coach), who scored four goals for Invicta last season, and Mark Patterson (assistant manager) are now on the coaching staff at Cheriton Road.

And having a “link” with the Priestfield Stadium club is very important to the Ryman Premier League club.

“Somebody like us it’s obviously important as we may get a player on loan,” said Cugley.

“We’ve had a good relationship (with Gillingham) going back a few years and let’s hope we continue that.”

Invicta are preparing for their third season in the Ryman Premier League and Cugley admitted the standard keeping improving due to the money in the game.

“The last year was stronger than the year before and this year it’s definitely getting better as a lot of money has gone into clubs,” he said.

“It’s getting very much down to the standard (of football) when we was in the Southern League Premier.”

Cugley revealed he’s at full strength this week, but he will throw in some of the players that are progressing through the club’s ranks during the rest of his pre-season programme.

“The younger lads will be given a chance to show that they can do,” he said.

Admission Prices:

Adults: £8
Concessions: £4
Seating: £1 extra

Folkestone Invicta’s pre-season programme:

Wednesday 12th July (H) Gillingham
Saturday 15th July (H) Gravesend & Northfleet
Wednesday 19th July (a) Ashford Town
Saturday 22nd July (a) Hythe Town
Wednesday 26th July (a) Faversham Town
Saturday 29th July (H) Welling United
Monday 31st July (H) Maidstone United
Saturday 5th August (a) Herne Bay
Monday 7th August (H) Chatham Town
Saturday 12th August (H) Dartford

Visit Folkestone Invicta’s website:

Photographs have been taken from the club website.