Faversham Town boss Ray Turner: We have put together a group of players that are ambitious and want to work hard for each other, ultimately to do their best in the club’s quest for promotion
FAVERSHAM TOWN boss Ray Turner says he is relishing pitting his wits against Sky Bet League One side Gillingham on Friday night.
The Lilywhites finished in tenth-place with 74 points from their 46 league games last season and go into this season’s Bostik South campaign aiming for promotion.
Adrian Pennock narrowly escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth last season, finishing fifth-from-bottom on 50 points from their 46 league games, escaping the drop by just one point.
“We are all very much looking forward to welcoming Ady, his team and everyone associated with Gillingham FC for this special Friday night occasion,” said Turner.
“I would like to thank them for accepting the invitation to officially open our new dressing room development.
“It is an opportunity for us to really showcase our ambitions as a club and put on a fantastic nights entertainment for both sets of supporters.
“We are rightly proud of what has been achieved at Faversham Town since we reformed (in 2005) both on and off the field, now we must make Friday night a truly memorable night for players and supporters alike.
“It will be the first chance for the followers of both sides to get a glimpse of their respective new look squads and I think there will be real optimism on both benches for the season ahead.
“I recognise clearly we will be some distance behind our full-time counterparts particularly in terms of fitness levels but I am keen to see my players, some for the first time, I want to see that they are not overawed and that there is real belief shown in themselves and their team mates.”
Turner is delighted with the players that he has brought in to Salters Lane this summer and is looking forward to seeing them in action on Friday night.
“I am pleased with the work we have done with regards recruitment this summer,” said Turner.
“There were many occasions our squad strength was just not good enough to complete with the best sides in this division last time out.
“I feel the new players will compliment and add to the playing options available to me. They have all come in and settled immediately and I look forward to seeing how they can help the current crop.
“For us, Friday is fundamentally recognising and celebrating what we have achieved off the field. However, the game is another important session for us as a group as we continue our preparations for (the start of the Bostik South season on) 12 August. The game will be an important component for the next stage of the players’ conditioning.
“It is the first time we have played since 23 April so none of my players are realistically ready for 90 minutes.
“The key for me is that we create a structure on the pitch that doesn’t make it too easy for Gillingham, that we compete physically and mentally and we come through the game with no injuries.
“I will have a large squad available to me on Friday, which I will fully utilise and expect to use around 20 players.
“As much as players always want to play, it is important we protect them at this early stage of pre-season.
“After seeing the squad working first hand I am not looking to add at this stage. I am very happy with the competition and options at my disposal.”
When asked about who he thinks will be challenging for promotion in the Bostik South this coming season, Turner replied: It is very difficult to say who will be the main challengers in our division this season. All I know is that last season was very strong from top to bottom and I don’t envisage that changing.
“The League remains a 24 team division so consistency in approach and performance is what we are striving for and hoping that the quality we do have shines through at the right times in what promises to be another incredibly tight division.
“We have put together a group of players that are ambitious and want to work hard for each other, ultimately to do their best in the club’s quest for promotion.”
Turner revealed that Macauley Murray, Luke Harvey, Carl Rook, Ryan Cheek and Jamie Maxted are unavailable for their opening warm-up game.
Faversham Town have confirmed that it is pay on the gate on Friday night with adults being charged £10, over 60s and children over 11 and over being charged £6, while tickets for under 11s will cost just £3.
Visit Faversham Town’s website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/favershamtownfc
Faversham Town v Gillingham
Friday 7 July 2017
Kick Off 7:30pm
at Salters Lane, Faversham, Kent ME13 8ND