Every single player who has re-signed from last year have done so on reduced terms, reveals Margate joint-manager Mike Sandmann
MARGATE joint-manager Mike Sandmann has revealed he will be working with a reduced playing budget next season.
The Hartsdown Park outfit finished in seventh-place in the Bostik Premier Division in what was Steven Watt’s only full season in charge of the club.
Sandmann and Steve Brown, who formed Watt’s management team, have since taken joint-charge of the club, which will continue to have its training base in Wrotham despite having a 3G pitch at their own stadium.
Sandmann told www.margatefc.co.uk: “There has been a slight budget cut, we are still very competitive, but it does mean we are not able to keep every single player we’d have liked to.
“Every single player who has re-signed from last year have done so on reduced terms. They didn’t have to and there are some who were on contracts as well, who have reduced their salaries, so they can stay at the football club and we can bring in more players.
“We just missed out on the play-offs and we’re hoping to build a competitive squad so that we can make the play-offs this time around.
“It’s creditable to the supporters and the club that these players want to stay at the football club and it’s very pleasing.”
Margate have re-signed left-back Tom Mills and have signed striker Joe Taylor from Folkestone Invicta, where he scored 47 goals over the course of two seasons at Cheriton Road.
Sandmann said: “We’re really happy with another two great additions to the squad. Joe is a fantastic signing for us, he knows the club well having played here as a youth player, so it’s nice that fans will be able to give him a warm welcome back.
“Millsy is another key player to retain. Fans saw the quality and stability he brings to our defence and I’ve said it before, it’s a real testament to the club that players are committed to what we’re trying to build here.”
Margate have confirmed that Alex Flisher has agreed new terms to stay at the club next season.
Flisher’s first-season for the club was cut short by an ACL injury obtained in the dying moments of The Gate’s final pre-season fixture away at Ramsgate last August.
Since, Flisher has undergone surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation process which means the former Maidstone United fans’ favourite could well be involved with the pre-season fixture schedule.
Sandmann said: “It’s been a really positive week. Players are keen to be involved with what we’re continuing to build here and it’s great that Flish is one of those and will be with us this season. After his injury last year, it’s like having a new signing and it will be great to have him back out on the pitch.
“Fans saw glimpses of Flish's ability and creativity and he has been working tirelessly with his rehab to make brilliant progress from a serious injury. He’s positive and we’re positive about that and will continue to monitor and support him, so hopefully it’s sooner rather than later that we get him back in a Blues shirt.”
Sandmann also confirmed that young goalkeeper Patrick Lee has departed the club in the pursuit of regular first team football elsewhere, while former Dartford, Crystal Palace, Millwall and Bromley winger David Martin has played his last game for Margate, “after a series of conversations, the club was unfortunately unable to come to an agreement in retaining Martin’s services.”
Visit Margate’s website: www.margatefc.co.uk