Folkestone chairman: We need more funds for stronger league

Thursday 10th August 2006

Folkestone Invicta chairman Bob Dix is looking forward to the challenges that lie waiting for his club during their third successive Ryman Premier League campaign, writes Tom Marchant.

“This year will be hard, it’s certainly not going to be easy at all,” Mr Dix told

 “With the amount of money that is flying around in our league it will be our toughest year yet – unfortunately none of that money is around here!

“Teams like AFC Wimbledon who pull in a good few thousand every week, Chelmsford City with their new ground and the likes of Bromley will certainly be very strong this season.”

With regards to how Invicta will do in the Ryman Premier League, Mr Dix said: “I think we’ve got a stronger squad compared to this time last year and at the end of last season we finished strongly. We’re hoping to continue that into the new season.

“I think people don’t realise just how strong this league is. Last season we weren’t that far off the play offs, perhaps five or six wins off. I hope we get even closer to them this season”.

What is of paramount importance to Invicta pushing up the Premier Division is the uptake on the Share Issue which commenced in June of this year. To date the uptake has been quite slow.

Mr Dix revealed: “The Share Issue hasn’t kicked off as well as we would have liked it to but at this time of year people are often on holiday which might be a factor and possibly the fact that people may not realise what it means to the club”.

The Invicta Chairman pointed out the significance of the Share Issue explaining: “Money that we receive from sponsorship and advertising comes in around this time but it dries up very quickly through the costs incurred in running the club.

“It is so important the Share Issue is successful to ensure we can keep the playing staff we have got. Some people may laugh but we’ve probably got the strongest squad we’ve ever had here and really we want to be up there competing for the play offs. We can’t do that without the funds from a successful Share Issue”.

Anyone reading who may be interested in purchasing shares in Folkestone Invicta can view the form in the ‘Commercial’ section of the club website, accessible from the homepage.

The Folkestone squad is certainly looking forward to the start of the season and the club’s progressive youth setup has seen many young players given a trial by the Invicta manager, with centre back Liam Friend and midfielder Ben Sly both given contracts at the Buzzlines Stadium.

Mr Dix added: “A lot of the youngsters have been given first team games by Neil (Cugley) and I think they’ve done very well.

“To play at this level is a big step from the League some of these lads were playing in last year with the reserves and it naturally takes time for them to adjust.

“They’re obviously fit lads, you can see that on the field, but getting that physical and mental strength to compete in the Ryman Premier takes time”.

Earlier on in the year the Cheriton Road club advertised the position of a general manager, someone who would take responsibility for coordinating all the aspects of the Club’s off the field activities.

Mr Dix stated that the process of appointing the person for the job is almost complete adding: “We’re down now to two very promising candidates and we will whittle it down to one – we want to get the right person for the job and there will be someone in place in September.

“With Andy Ingleston away at the moment, it takes a bit more time, but that is not a problem.”

The Press Team at the club will make an exclusive announcement first, on the website, when the successful candidate has been appointed.

Mr Dix himself has been limited to the amount of work he can do at the present time as he has injured the tendons in his thumb and wrist.

He explained: “Well I had a bit of an accident with some DIY at home and I’ve been up and down to East Grinstead to have micro surgery done.

“It’s a pain because I’ve injured my left thumb, and I’m left handed! It’s getting better, but it’s a slow healing process and I’m back over there on Monday. They say it’s another four weeks until it’s fully recovered but my hip is alright now and I was given the all clear Tuesday.”

With Bob and Brian Merryman the two club directors at present and the former limited to an extent with his injury, the club remain short numbered at board room level.

Mr Dix mused: “We could definitely do with a few more directors. It’s more to give some time to help out with what’s involved with running the club, not necessarily a financial input.

“This club is making progress all the time and with more people on board, it would certainly help us push on that good bit more”.

If anyone reading would like to become a director at Folkestone Invicta or if they would just like more information about what would be involved, they are invited to contact Mr Bob Dix who would be happy to speak to them – his number is in the ‘Contacts’ section on the homepage.

Everyone at the Club - and www. - naturally wishes Bob the very best in making a full and speedy recovery.

* Dartford visit the Buzzlines Stadium on Saturday for Folkestone Invicta’s last pre-season friendly, before Harrow Borough visit in the Ryman Premier League on 19th August. Both games kicking off at 3pm.

Visit Folkestone Invicta’s newly revamped website: