I was watching training thinking this group of young men have the talent to get out of a sticky position within the league, good honest players with skill and heart for the club, says newly-appointed FC Elmstead manager Ennio Gonnella

Friday 22nd February 2019

NEWLY-APPOINTED manager Ennio Gonnella says he is looking forward to taking charge of FC Elmstead for the first time tomorrow.


FC Elmstead welcome Lewisham Borough to Lower Road on a miserable run of 10 games without a win in all competitions and as a result they have slipped down into the bottom five in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table with 20 points from their 19 league outings.

They are only five points clear of basement side Rochester United but they do have a couple of games in hand.

Gonnella, who left league rivals Kent Football United in November 2018, took training for the first time last night and is confident his new side can start climbing the league table, taking advantage of their games in hand over their league rivals.

“It’s been a busy first week for me, obviously trying to get to know everyone,” said Gonnella.

“I’ve got to say what a great club so far.  Fabio Rossi (General manager) and the players have been very welcoming, so I’m really looking forward to getting started now.”

Justin Fevrier has guided Lewisham Borough to eleventh-place in the table, having banked 26 points from their 24 league outings.

Gonnella said: “We move into my first game against Lewisham, who have had a good season so far.

“Justin has done wonders this year and has brought in some good experienced players that I know well, so in reflection it’s going to be a tough encounter.

“However, based on what I saw last night at training, we have so much talent in the ranks and I was watching thinking this group of young men have the talent to get out of a sticky position within the league, good honest players with skill and heart for the club.”

Rossi has taken charge of two games back in temporary charge of team affairs, losing 6-1 at Tooting Bec in the London Senior Trophy and a 2-2 home draw against Phoenix Sports Reserves last weekend.

“The reports from the last game was a matter of opinion.  It feels like a loss being 2-0 up and dominating.  Obviously, I wasn’t at the game but I heard it was well fought by both teams and no doubt a helping hand from the referee sending two of our lads off.  However, a point is a point and we move on,” added Gonnella.

“I’m really looking forward to being back out there tomorrow with a special bunch of young men.”

Gonnella, meanwhile, has appointed some familiar faces in the dug-out.

“My brother Gerry Gonnella is going to be my number two. He’s played many years in the Ryman League, especially with Dulwich Hamlet and now due to a major injury joins me on the sides, so I’m happy to be doing this with my younger brother who will no doubt be an asset to me and the team.

“Also joining him is Dominic Weston, who is a dear friend to the family for many years and also brings great experience and knowledge of the game.”

FC Elmstead  v  Lewisham Borough
Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Saturday 23 February 2019
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Lower Road, Hextable, Kent BR8 7RZ