Winning does become a habit and I want my team to get into good ways as soon as possible, says Sittingbourne boss Nick Davis

Thursday 07th July 2016

SITTINGBOURNE manager Nick Davis says he’s going to give youngsters a chance to impress him before cutting his squad down to 20 men.

The Brickies completed their Ryman League Division One South campaign in the bottom seven last season and they begin their pre-season campaign against Tunbridge Wells on Saturday.

Jason Bourne’s Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side kicked-off their pre-season campaign with a 1-0 win over SCEFL1 side Rusthall on Tuesday night with former Folkestone Invicta striker Richard Atkins thumping home a header five minutes before the break.

“It’s been a real hectic start,” said Davis, ahead of the game at Culverden Stadium.

“We are three sessions in along with a friendly game we put on for our trailists and we are in the process of cutting the numbers so we can realistically go into our scheduled friendlies with no more than 20 players at any one time.

“We have lost three players from last season’s squad. The remainder of last season’s team have signed on along with a couple of exciting young lads from our 18s/21s side that we introduced at various stages last season. Some credit must go to John Embery and Jermaine Darlington for their coaching and bringing these lads through from the under 18s and 21s.

“My assistant Tony Cornwell, from introducing these coaches to the club, already with his excellent reputation he has from producing successful youngsters in the past. We had an average age last year of 21, with at many times four or five teenagers involved at any one time.

“It’s important we introduce them wisely, drip feed them in with the more experienced lads to help them with their development and to ease them in to what is a demanding and physical standard of football.

“I have also signed two new additions so far to the team who will give us more competition for places in key positions and that come with a reputation of a decent upbringing in football terms and a fantastic pedigree.

“We then have a few decent lads training with us that are hoping to sign on and prove to me they are better than what we already have.”

Sittingbourne host another SCEFL Premier Division side when Canterbury City visit Woodstock Park next Tuesday night.

Davis said: “We still have five weeks to the start of the season and we have eight friendlies starting with Tunbridge Wells on Saturday and then Canterbury on Tuesday.

“Winning does become a habit and I want my team to get into good ways as soon as possible and we will do our best to go into every game to win them and hopefully take this consistency into the season.”

Davis has added to his management team ahead of the new season, starting with goalkeeper coach Damien Hopkins, who was part of Paul Piggott’s management team that guided Hollands & Blair to runners-up spot in their debut SCEFL season.

Davis said: “I have brought in Damien Hopkins and have promoted Jono Richardson which makes up our coaching team along with Warren Chambers.

“We are going to have to be extremely well organised come the start of the season and being youthful in personnel we will have to be super fit and get the new lads to believe in our philosophy to enable us to compete in what looks to be on paper the strongest Ryman South for many seasons.”

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Tunbridge Wells  v  Sittingbourne
Pre-Season Friendly
Saturday 9 July 2016
Kick Off 1:00pm
at Culverden Stadium, Culverden Down, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9SG

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for 12 months
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