Josh Patrick has committed to Sporting Club Thamesmead, says newly-appointed manager Joe Ford

Wednesday 23rd May 2018

NEWLY-APPOINTED Sporting Club Thamesmead manager Joe Ford says he has managed to keep talisman Josh Patrick at Bayliss Avenue.

The striker banged in 49 goals in all competitions for the Acre last season as the club finished their campaign in 12th place in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table.

Sporting Club Thamesmead have appointed Joe Ford, 27, as their new manager and confirms he has retained the services of 49-goal hitman Josh Patrick

Owner Lee Hill stepped down from the dug-out after his side beat Phoenix Sports Reserves 3-0 to win the Hospitals Charity Cup at Park View Road, Welling on Friday 4 May.

The club appointed Ford, 27, the son of former VCD Athletic and Erith & Belvedere manager Martin, last Friday, 18 May.

“First and foremost I’m very happy to be back involved in non-league football again as I have to admit over the past six months I have really started to miss it,” said Ford.

“I’m very happy with the management team so far. I feel it’s strong and I’m delighted that my good friends Jason Long (assistant manager) and Ben Williams (player-assistant) have agreed to come on board.

“I’m still talking to a possible goalkeeper coach plus one other at the moment and I’m really happy that last season’s physio Wayne is also staying at the club as the feedback I’ve had from the lads I know already has been first class.

“Jason Long, formerly of Rochester United, is an outstanding coach who I have known for a number of years through non-league and business. We will work very closely together and I know he is someone I can trust, which for me is very important. He also has experience in management having been at Dartford as their Academy manager and assistant manager at Rochester United so this won’t phase him at all and I know he will thrive in his role here.

“Ben Williams has been at the club all season as reserve team manager and has just won a league title himself which is no easy task at any level. He is another good friend who I have known for a number of years and more importantly is someone that knows the club inside out.

“Ben wants to get back playing next year and it will provide the perfect link between the management and players so I’m over the moon about his commitment to come on board as I know the easy thing to do for him would’ve been to stay on as reserve manager but he’s after a bigger challenge as are myself and Jason so we can’t wait to get going now really.

“People keep on asking me about budgets, it’s quite simple really - we don’t have one whatsoever so it’s something that will no doubt be a challenge but then again I suppose you can flip it and say at least you know everyone that signs for you is either signing because they just enjoy playing, they believe in what your trying to do and aren’t too worried about a pound note!

“An example of this is Josh Patrick who scored 49 goals last season and didn’t get a penny which in today’s day and age is unbelievable really!

“One exclusive I can give you is that Josh Patrick has committed to the club for the 2018/19 season.

“We spoke on Saturday at the clubs presentation and he told me that he is looking forward to working under the new set up next season - he’s a great lad and very good player and I’m delighted that he’s made that commitment to the club despite the number of offers he’s had which as you can imagine is quite a few.

“In terms of any more players coming in or staying - we have discussed this as a management team and have identified some players we would like to bring in but we are also very keen to give a large number of last years’ squad the opportunity to come back pre-season and show us what they can do.

“I watched Sporting Club Thamesmead a number of times last season and was impressed by a number of players but felt they just needed to be fitter and sharper at times with and without the ball and that’s what we will look to achieve in pre-season.

“When I met up with Lee Hill a few weeks back and spoke to him about possibly coming in to manage the team, I could sense how much the club meant to him and the passion he has to try and push on the club both on and off the pitch which was a challenge that got me excited and something that I wanted to be a part of.

“I know Lee has already mentioned that he’s moving upstairs but for me, it’s important that people like Lee are at the heart of what we try to achieve on the pitch this season as without people like him and others behind the scenes.  Club’s at this level wouldn’t run and it’s as simple as that.

“These are exciting times for Sporting Club Thamesmead and I’m delighted that Lee, Sam (Taylor, the chairman) and the committee have put their faith in us and given us the opportunity to take on this role.”

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