Folkestone Invicta boss Neil Cugley calls upon Micheal Everitt to keep the club up
FOLKESTONE INVICTA have strengthened their midfield options as they approach the final month of what has proved a testing season following their return to the Ryman Premier League as champions of Division One South – a title they achieved almost exactly 12 months ago on a truly memorable day.
Club legend Micheal Everitt, who was part of the squad that hammered Walton & Hersham on Good Friday, 2016, took part in what manager Neil Cugley called a ‘really worthwhile training game’ on Tuesday and has agreed to come out of retirement for the final five games of this season with the club for whom he has already made a record 631 appearances.
Also taking part on Tuesday night was 21-year-old box-to-box midfielder Nathan Ferguson, who was signed by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for Burton Albion from Grays Athletic a couple of years ago and has since had spells in the National League with Southport, Dartford and Bromley.
Invicta have never quite replaced Everitt, 34, as a ball-winning midfielder – a situation that has been made even more obvious at times over the last two and half months since the loss of the excellent Ronnie Dolan with an ankle injury suffered in the 4-1 home win over Lowestoft Town in January.
Essex-lad Ferguson impressed manager Cugley with his attitude and has been signed for the rest of this season.
“We’ve been getting very short on numbers recently and needed to bring at least a couple of players in I heard about him through his agent and really like the look of him,” Cugley told www.folkestoneinvictafc.co.uk
“I’ve spoken to both Bromley and Dartford and am confident that he can do a job for us.
”He lives in Essex, so our two remaining away games (at Enfield and Grays) will be virtually home games for him.”
Turning to the resigning of his former club captain Everitt, the manager said: “Mev’s experience could be vital for us over these remaining five games.
“Some of the lads have been finding it a bit nervy over our position in the table so hopefully having him back around will settle people down.”
Both Everitt and Ferguson will be in the squad for Saturday’s vital home game against Met Police – who are 15th in the table – three places and four points better off than Invicta who are 18th and just two points clear of the bottom four.
“We need to win our home games – especially these next two (against Metropolitan Police and fellow relegation fighters Hendon on April 8th).
“We had another look at a striker we’d been talking to, but I don’t feel that he’s any better than Ashley Miller who has been playing pretty well when we’ve given him the chance and provides a good back-up to (main strikers) Ian Draycott and Joe Taylor.
“Draycs and Joe have both got 20 goals this season – if you include the six he got before we signed him from Ramsgate, Joe’s got almost 30. And Miles (Cornwell) is also into double figures and playing well.”
Club captain Liam Friend is progressing following his ankle injury suffered at Leatherhead in mid-March and may figure a week on Saturday but wing back Sam Beale missed training through illness on Tuesday and looks doubtful for this weekend.
“I thought the Police looked a poor side when we played them up there, but we had a bad day and they still beat us and then went onto win four in a row and are almost out of trouble,” said Invicta boss Cugley.
“We conceded an early goal and never quite got going or managed to get into the game when they pulled eight or nine men back for most of the rest of the game.
“We’ll have to be aware that might do that again – and that’s fair enough if it’s what they feel they need to do.
“I have to admit, though, that this is Folkestone and when you get 300-400 through the gate I’ve always believed in trying to entertain our supporters as much as we can, especially here at home of course.
“As I said earlier in the week, they (the supporters) were brilliant up at Leiston and especially at Lowestoft last weekend. I hope that they’ll get behind us again like that on Saturday – you don’t realise how much difference that can make.”
Visit Folkestone Invicta’s website: www.folkestoneinvictafc.co.uk