Soccer Shorts: Under no circumstances are we going to spend money we can't afford, says Folkestone Invicta chairman Jim Pellatt
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APM CONTRAST manager Kris Browning says he is looking forward to the club’s first ever Kent Invicta League game – at home to Bridon Ropes.
He said: “We are looking forward to our new challenge in the Invicta League, the highest the club have played in our 96 years.
“I would hope to set our sights on a top half finish, but overall just glad to be in the Invicta League!”
BECKENHAM TOWN joint-manager Jason Huntley says he is relishing their opening night clash against AFC Croydon Athletic at Eden Park Avenue next Tuesday.
The club’s trip to Ashford United on Saturday was called off owing to the home club’s artificial pitch not being ready to stage its first game as materials haven’t been able to get to Homelands Stadium owing to Operation Stack.
Huntley, speaking to www.beckenhamtownfc.co.uk is now looking forward to facing the Rams, who kick-off their campaign at home to Erith & Belvedere on Saturday.
“It should be a terrific game, which hopefully will attract a good crowd,” said Huntley.
“No problems about our pitch being ready for the new season, it’s in superb condition.”
CANTERBURY CITY joint-manager Ben Smith has unveiled the signing of former Herne Bay striker Jordan Casey.
Smith told www.canterburycityfc.com: “It’s great to finally secure his signature. It has been a long time coming after making initial contact before pre-season started and he could be a huge player for us.
“He’s had a lot of knocks since leaving Stoke City a couple of seasons back but there is a reason he was there in the first place and you don’t play for your county at any level without a great deal of ability.
“I am hopeful that in the right environment that ability can start to show consistency on the pitch.
“Contrary to newspaper reports I’ve not been desperately searching for a striker as I have two decent strikers here already in Sam Hallett and Dan Gonzales-Bello.
“Tunji becoming available is a massive bonus and completes a set of good attacking options with each bringing something different to the table.”
DARTFORD have unveiled the arrival of Mark Onyemah, on loan from League Two side Luton Town.
He will be with the Vanarama National League South club for an initial month with the view for extension and will be available for Saturday’s opening day drip to Hemel Hempstead Town.
Meanwhile, the Darts have also signed defender Marvin Hamilton, 26, on non-contract terms, while former Welling United and Ebbsfleet United goalkeeper Jamie Turner, 35, has also signed for the club as a non-contracted player as cover for first choice stopper Deren Ibrahim.
DOVER ATHLETIC have unveiled the signing of versatile midfielder Naby Diallo, 24, who joins the Vanarama National League club following a spell at Bath City last season.
DULWICH HAMLET supporter James Virgo is appealing for supporters to bring any old unwanted pairs of football boots down to Champion Hill for their next two games, commencing with their season opener at home to Canvey Island on Saturday.
Mr Virgo heard of the scheme through a long-standing friend Sean Kinsella, a missionary and also a professor at a university in Kampala, Uganda.
Mr Virgo told Dulwich Hamlet’s website: “There must be lots of Dulwich Hamlet fans with old boots lying about in cupboards, maybe a bit tatty or caked in old mud.
“But as long as they’re wearable we don’t mind what condition they’re in.
“I’m not setting a target on how many we can donate from Champion Hill, even if it’s only a few pairs they still make a huge difference to a student over there.
“Many of them play in odd trainers or bare-footed!
“Your old boots would make their day. Kids’ one are welcome too. If your children have outgrown them, as I’m sure they can be passed on to local schools over there too.”
Boots can be left with either Mishi Morath, before the match when he is selling 50-50 tickets, or with Shaun Dooley at the 12th Man table, once the game kicks off.
EBBSFLEET UNITED boss Daryl McMahon is hoping new signing Danny Haynes can rediscover the form that made him such a hot property in the Football League, where he played for the likes of Ipswich Town, Bristol City and Charlton Athletic.
Haynes, 27, signed up to the Fleet cause just before the Braintree Town friendly and McMahon says he couldn’t turn down the chance to add a player with such pedigree to his squad.
“Danny’s signing came about by chance a little bit,” McMahon told www.ebbsfleetunited.co.uk.
“His agent called me to say he hadn’t got a club and was looking for somewhere to train. So we brought him in for a couple of days and gave him 60 minutes against Boreham Wood and 45 again on Saturday.
“He’s a good player and he didn’t just come to train, he enjoyed himself and wanted to come and play for us. So with the opportunity there for us, I felt it was something we had to do to bring him in.
“His CV speaks for itself and the fact he’s played for some top clubs obviously tells you there’s something about him. He can add quality and with the age he’s at, he’s still hungry to achieve. It was a no-brainer for us to bring him in.
“He’s not 100% fit yet, he’s only had six sessions with us and two bit parts in games and is still a way off the fitness levels he will get to in the weeks ahead.
“But when he gets himself properly fit, hopefully then we’ll see a really top player. I think then he can really make a difference.”
FISHER manager Dean Harrison has revealed that two of his players, Jordan Adekunle and Femi Akinwande have signed pro contracts with Crawley Town and Colchester United respectively.
Harrison, who starts his Southern Counties East Football League campaign with a trip to Deal Town on Saturday, before hosting Cray Valley at Champion Hill next Monday night, said: “A good advert for Fisher, the league and myself I think you’ll agree!”
Looking ahead to their trip to the Kent coast, Harrison added: “I’ve got no budget, a brand new squad as all but four players left to get money here, there and everywhere!
“Six of them are out with injuries for at least the first and second games.
“Mid-table would be great this season – I’ll dust my boots off!”
FOLKESTONE INVICTA chairman Jim Pellatt says the club can win the Ryman League Division One South title this season – after suffering four heartbreaking defeats in play-offs during the past four seasons.
Speaking to www.folkestoneinvictafc.co.uk, Mr Pellatt said: “We have invested 50% more than we usually do on the pitch, which looks in fantastic shape.
“On the playing side, we have stuck to the plan obtained a year ago, to clear all debt, exit the CVA and make essential ground improvements to obtain our C grading.
“We fell a little bit short on the tarmacking due to an unexpected overrun on costs but we will finish that off as soon as we can and then turn to concentrating on the playing side.
“It was as important to ensure we kept our existing squad together and secured their signatures as it was signing new players.
“Ian Draycott and Liam Friend both attracted interest from elsewhere and I am sure all our players would have walked in to other clubs had they become available.
“But Neil (Cugley) identified the players he wanted to bring in immediately the season finished and had them signed up before anyone else could get a look in!
“This will be the first season in many years that we have had a squad where any one player could command a first team place.
“With Richard Atkins and Micheal Everitt going for reasons outside our control, it has been about improving the quality of the squad rather than signing loads of players to see how they work out.
“This has meant a small increase in the playing budget, but under no circumstances are we going to spend money we can’t afford, or chance our arm by throwing money we’ve not got at potential cup runs.
“That doesn’t mean though, that we won’t be hoping to get through a few rounds – especially in The FA Cup and The Trophy.
“Neil has assembled a strong squad that we are confidence can give us a successful season.
“But just how successful doesn’t just depend on us. The odds on at least one club winning our league have shortened considerably as news has filtered through to the betting fraternity that they are setting out to have a real go.
“There will be others and there is usually one surprise team that seems to come from nowhere.
“At the start of the season all clubs, even with the remotest of chances, set out with the intention of finishing as champions.
“In the last few seasons we have arguably over-achieved.
“Can we win it this season? Yes we can!
“Will we win it? Well that is for us to find out and depends on other teams who may splash the cash, our key players staying injury free and many other factors.
“Only two things are certain. We will be going full throttle for it with everyone on and off the field working their socks off and there is going to be plenty of excitement (at Cheriton Road) this coming season.
“It all starts this Saturday (at home to Molesey), of course. If our terrific supporters really get behind the team you really can be our 12th man and help us achieve what we all want.”
LYDD TOWN open their Kent Invicta League campaign against newcomers AC London at home.
Manager Dave Smith said: “This season we will, of course, be looking to win the league much like several sides in the league but the introduction of four more sides to take the tally of games to 38 I feel will play a major factor in who wins the league.
“There will be midweek games, suspensions and injuries and it will be the side that can continually put out a strong squad every week that will be dominant.
“I have 20 plus players signed already but that probably won’t be enough. We have added some good players this season and along with virtually the whole squad from last season re-signing we are happy with what we have.
“A massive aim for Lydd, like others again, is to get our ground finished and up to the level that will allow us to go up if we do win the league. All the planning permission is sorted so we are waiting for funding that always seems to take forever to be approved.
“So a long road ahead with many ups and downs. The Invicta League is a tough league and as I have started this season will be the hardest it ever has been to win.”
MARGATE Chief executive Chris Pope is looking forward to life in the Vanarama National League South.
Terry Brown’s side welcome Truro City to Hartsdown Park on Saturday as the club make their return to the division for the first time since 2005.
Mr Pope told www.margate-fc.co.uk: “I enjoy reading the reports in the media from pundits, National League managers and fans. The accuracy is somewhat questionable but it is always entertaining and if it helps the profile of the club to grow then it is exactly what we want, people talking about the Gate!
“The consensus from the media, pundits, even the bookies is we are going to be fighting for the league.
“However, the message to our players and supporters is and always has been to fight for every game, fight for every point, and if we do this then the club will be in a favourable position come the end of the season”.
Mr Pope recognises the supporters have a vital role to play this season and hopes for a great atmosphere on Saturday for the league opener.
“We would love to be getting over 1,000 at Hartsdown Park on a regular basis and we are working hard to make it happen with winning football being the number one way to achieve this”.
PHOENIX SPORTS make their Ryman League Division One North debut on Saturday when they welcome Maldon & Tiptree to Mayplace Road East in Barnehurst.
“Let’s hope we can get off to a good start like we did last season,” said club secretary Alf Levy.
TONBRIDGE ANGELS would like to thank local clubs that have had bucket collections for Junior Dian’s family following the 24-year-old’s tragic death in a pre-season friendly at Whyteleafe on 7 July.
A club statement said: “Fans at different clubs always seem to come together at times like this with the result that the following sums of money were raised:
Tonbridge Angels £800
Maidstone United £670
Sevenoaks Town £286
“This was a tremendous response and on behalf of Junior’s family, Tonbridge Angels FC would like to thank everyone for their generosity.”
Meanwhile, FC Elmstead manager Danny Wakeling says there will be a bucket collection at their game against Orpington at Oakley Road, Bromley on Friday night on the opening night of the Kent Invicta League.
TUNBRIDGE WELLS chairman Clive Maynard says he's feeling excited ahead of the opening week of their new campaign.
Keith Bird’s first game in charge of the club is a local derby away to Crowborough Athletic on Saturday, before hosting Micky Collins’ Sevenoaks Town side to Culverden Stadium next Tuesday night.
“Personally I think we can look forward to some exciting times,” Mr Maynard told www.tunbridgewellsfc.com.
“The first two games of the season certainly should be, two huge local derbies.
“Tunbridge Wells Football Club have written to the league and expressed our surprise at how the fixtures have been assembled. Two home games in seven weeks in December/January and for the fifth season in a row away the last game of the season.
“Nothing will change this season but the club will do everything we can do to ensure that things are different next year.
“Our support is renowned but just seems to go from strength to strength. The support that we have had for the pre-season games has been nothing short of outstanding.
“Sixty at Crockenhill, at least 150 at Rusthall followed by 201 at home for the Sittingbourne game. Brilliant, loyal, loud, further superlatives escape me, thank you to each and every one of you.
“I have often asked for us to turn opposition towns red and I am making this plea to you for the Crowborough game. So today we launch Operation 200. I am sure that we can take the biggest ever travelling support that the SCEFL has ever seen to Crowborough.
“The public transport bus service is excellent. It is only seven miles down the road. So let us spread the word and ensure that Keith and the team effectively have a home away game."
WELLING UNITED have signed four of their development players ahead of their new Vanarama National League campaign, which starts with a home game against newly-promoted Guiseley at Park View Road on Saturday.
Louis Birch, Archie Johnson, Michael Martelly-Thompson and Steven Gunner were all given a first team squad number upon signing for the club.
Looking ahead to their opener against Guiseley at Park View Road, player-manager Loui Fazakerley told www.wellingunited.com: “We’ve done our research and we’ve figured out our game plan. Everyone’s on the same sheet, we are definitely not going to take them lightly, that’s for sure. We are going to treat them like every team in this league and approach it in the right manner.
“It’s good to start at home. We’re gonna start on the front foot. It’s all about us and if we play how I know we can play we should start with a win.”
WHITSTABLE TOWN have unveiled the signing of left-back Curtis Robinson.
The experienced campaigner has previously played for Dover Athletic, Margate and Ramsgate and joins an exciting new line-up ahead of the club’s opening Ryman League Division One South game of the season at Walton & Hersham on Saturday.
Chairman Gary Johnson said: “Will Graham and his management team are evidently delighted to have captured the signature of this most sought after Kent player and is sure to compliment the new Oysters.”
Updated: 10:15 - Saturday 8 August 2015