Farnie: We need better backing (EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW)

Friday 14th July 2006

With the World Cup a distant painful memory, the manager of Kent League side Tunbridge Wells calls for more support from local fans, but most of all their local council, writes Stephen McCartney.

Martin Farnie (pictured), who took over from Kevin Metcalf in the early parts of last season, lead the Culverden Stadium outfit to tenth place in the table and a place in the Kent Senior Trophy final.


But his club lost their first final in 14 years, losing on penalties to VCD Athletic at Welling United’s Park View Road in April.

The club, European record breakers following last season’s FA Cup preliminary round tie at home to Littlehampton Town, when 40 penalties were taken in the shoot out as Wells triumphed 16-15 on spot kicks, after the enthralling game finished 2-2 after extra time, hold their Annual General Meeting at their ground on Monday evening.

The team kick-off their pre-season campaign at neighbours Rusthall, from the British Energy Kent County League premier division, the following evening.

And with former England, Brighton and Tottenham star Gary Stevens in the background, Farnie has high hopes for the future.

“I think it will happen down here because with Gary with the club people will start realising we are a serious club now,” Farnie said in an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk

“We’re working to make the ground a better place,” he added.  “We’ve had the pitch done, people are working hard down here so it’s about time the council gave us a bit more so we can develop the ground.

“We definitely need the changing rooms done – that’s got to be a must this year.”

Farnie, meanwhile, praised Dartford Borough Council for supporting their local club.

The Darts, with the help of their council, are expected to open their impressive 4,100 capacity Princes Park Stadium against Maidstone United on 23rd September.

“I think our council can do better,” said former Dartford coach Farnie.  “Look at Dartford Borough Council giving them a new stadium.  I’m not asking for that, all I’m asking for are better facilities.

“The changing rooms are out dated, they need upgrading – we need a new building for that.

”We need a decent training facility down here so we can train the boys better and bring our youth team through.

“The council have been positive but I think we can do more with them – and I think they can do more for us.

“But the club hasn’t really given much to shout about in the last ten years – so hopefully we can do that.”

Meanwhile, two of the club’s Tunbridge Wells are playing in pre-season friendlies, will clash in more important games once the season gets underway.

Tony Burman’s Dartford visit Culverden Stadium in a pre-season friendly on 1st August, but return on 2nd September in the preliminary round of the FA Cup.

And East Grinstead Town visit Culverden Stadium in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase on 9th September.  Farnie takes his side to Furnace Green, Crawley to play the Sussex County League side for a friendly on 25th July.

Tunbridge Wells’ pre-season programme:

Tuesday 18th July (a) Rusthall 6:45pm at Jockey Farm
Tuesday 25th July (a) East Grinstead 6.30pm at Furnace Green, Crawley
Saturday 29th July (H) Tonbridge Angels
Tuesday 1st August (H) Dartford
Saturday 5th August (a) AFC Totton
Tuesday 8th August (H) Crowborough Athletic

Visit Tunbridge Wells’ website:  www.tunbridgewellsfc.co.uk

Photo was taken from club website