It would be nice if Johan Ter Horst can go out on a high, says Neil Cugley
Invicta welcome Leatherhead in the Ryman League Division One South play-off final and it will be the diminutive striker’s 55th and final appearance for the Kent club.
Ter Horst, 18, has scored a career total of 34 career goals for the Cheriton Road club and Cugley wants the teenager to send the club back into the Ryman Premier League before joining Premier League Hull City, managed by former Gillingham and Manchester United defender Steve Bruce, permanently.
Invicta finished as runners-up with 89 points – 18 adrift of champions Peacehaven & Telscombe – after Leatherhead were deduced six points on the eve of the end of the season to slip down a place to third.
Richard Brady’s side saw off Guernsey 3-2 in the play-off semi-final at Fetcham Grove on Tuesday night, while Folkestone Invicta needed extra-time to end Hastings United’s promotion dream by the same scoreline.
“It would be nice if Johan can go out on a high on Saturday and scoring the winner or something like that,” said Cugley.
Despite playing a Surrey club, Saturday’s game will have an air of a Kent derby to it because Brady and a high number of his squad live in the county.
“They’ve done it that way round. We know most of them now. We know Smudger (Darren Smith) really well. I look forward to seeing him.
“Tom Bradbrook, we know, is a great player. He scored a great goal against us earlier,
“Honestly we wanted Leatherhead. We felt we didn’t do ourselves justice up there. I just think we’re buzzing. I can’t wait.”
Folkestone Invicta were promoted via the play-offs in 2010, when they took advantage of home comforts at Cheriton Road.
Ironically, Leatherhead were defeated on 5-3 penalties after Folkestone Invicta fought back from being 2-0 down to force extra time and win it from the spot in dramatic fashion.
Cugley guided the club up after they defeated Godalming Town 2-1 in the final, but came straight back down the following season after finishing at the foot of the Ryman Premier League, with only five wins from their 42 league games.
“Let’s worry about that if that comes about,” said Cugley.
“That will give me some sleepless nights in the summer.
“I just love big games, as a manager you want big games and that’s a big game.
Cugley has had to endure many problems off the pitch during his long service at Cheriton Road and this season has been no different.
The club have been without seated covered accommodation since Christmas, when the rood of the main stand blew away into the adjacent sports complex during the Christmas storms.
Cugley said: “It’s been a long season with a lot of things, a lot of things happened around the ground, obviously the stand and everything else.
“It hasn’t been an easy season, every year gets harder. I’m absolutely chuffed to be in the final and we can’t wait. We’re looking forward to it.”
Meanwhile, chairman Mark Jenner has issued a statement on the club’s website concerning the main stand, confirming fans must continue to stand up until further notice.
He said “It has now been confirmed that the remains of the structure cannot be saved and therefore complete demolition is the only short term answer.
“Now we know what needs to be done we can devise a plan to meet the requirements of the ground-grading rules and seek funds from a number of sources which we have identified to cover as much of the cost as possible.
“The projected cost of demolition is in the order of £10,000 so this is no small task.
“There are at least two alternative ways of providing at least partial new roofing but it is not known yet which the better option is.
“However, the transfer of banks of seating, as has been suggested, to the Grandad Stand can be discounted as impractical on two major counts, so it is unlikely we will follow this quick fix.
“As a temporary measure we may look to hire in a fixed amount of covered seating for the start of next season until a permanent solution is found.
“We have received considerable help from Folkestone MP Damian Collins who as a member of the House of Commons Culture Media and Sport Select Committee has a raft of contacts at the FA and Premier League which we hope to take advantage of. Damian has gone out of his way to assist the club with these difficult issues for which we are very grateful.”
Tuesday’s coastal clash against Hastings United drew a Tuesday night crowd of 951 and Mr Jenner wants fans to fill Cheriton Road on Saturday.
“Thanks to everyone who turned out on Tuesday night for the play-off semi-final who were treated to edge of the seat (if we had any!) entertainment all evening.
“Please come along when more of the same is promised with who know what reward at the end of it.”
Visit Folkestone Invicta’s website: www.folkestoneinvictafc.co.uk
Folkestone Invicta v Leatherhead
Ryman League Division One South Play-Off Final
Saturday 3rd May 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Cheriton Road, Folkestone, Kent CT19 5JU