Soccer Shorts: We have waited 26 long years to host an FA Cup tie here on the Isle of Sheppey and I am going to make sure it is a day to remember, says Sheppey United chairman Matthew Smith

Friday 05th August 2016

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ASHFORD UNITED boss Danny Lye says his side are all fired up ahead of tomorrow’s home FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie against league rivals Corinthian.

Reflecting on pre-season, Lye told “We are where we need to be.  The squad has settled in nicely with the new additions and the atmosphere around the place is how I like it.

“Anyone who knows me will know that I like players and staff relaxed and enjoying themselves, having a laugh and joke to take their minds off the real task in hand.

“I have been privileged to work under lots of very good managers who all have their different styles.  I have always felt I played better when the dressing room had good strong characters who knew when to have fun and when to go to war.

“This is what I started to build last year and I hope to finish this year as we search for trophies.

“I have learnt a lot about my squad during pre-season and the one thing I certainly now is we have a lot of winners in the team that don’t like losing, even if it was a pre-season friendly.

“Last year, we fell short due to a squad that did not have enough depth or cover to deal with injuries.  This year my task of picking the team will be a great deal tougher and I look forward to the challenge of keeping all my players happy.”

Ashford United finished in third-place in the Southern Counties East Football League last season, while Corinthian finished in the top six.

Looking ahead to the FA Cup tie against Michael Golding’s side, Lye said: “It’s The FA Cup, in our first game of the new season. It’s a good way to start a new season, playing in the world’s oldest and most famous cup competition.

“We had a great adventure in The FA Vase last season (reaching the Quarter-Finals), maybe we can have a nice little run in The FA Cup this season to?

“I can assure you, all the players in this talented squad are fired up and ready to give the club everything in our search for success.”

BROMLEY manager Neil Smith has signed three players that have been on trial at Hayes Lane.

The Ravens host Tranmere Rovers on the opening day of the Vanarama National League season tomorrow and Smith has snapped up Blair Turgott, Daniel Johnson and Connor Dymond on the eve of the big kick-off.

Turgott, 22, began his career at West Ham United at the age of eight before progressing through the ranks at the Hammers earning several England call ups along the way at under 16, 17, 18 and 19 level.

Following his release from West Ham in February 2015, the winger joined Coventry City on a short-term contract until the end of the season.

Last season the Bromley-born player signed for Leyton Orient and went on to make over 35 appearances for the League Two outfit.

Smith told I am delighted to finally be calling Blair Turgott a Bromley FC player.  He has been a key player for us over pre-season and I’m hoping he will take his good form into our National League campaign.

Turgott added: “I am delighted to have signed for the club. Since day one the manager, staff, players and fans have made me feel welcome and helped me settle in very quickly.

“Speaking with the manager and seeing the set-up of the club made it an easy decision for me to sign.  I cannot wait to get started now and play my part in the club’s progress.”

Versatile defender Johnson was playing Ryman League Division One South football for Herne Bay last season, having came out of the successful Maidstone United Academy.

“Dan has impressed throughout pre-season and I feel he is more than capable of stepping up to this level and I’m delighted he has joined our club,” said Smith.

Midfielder Dymond, 21, quickly rose through the youth sides at Crystal Palace and his performances earned him a new contract last summer before becoming their under 21’s captain. However, he was released by the Premier League club at the end of last season.

Dymond said: “I’m delighted to have signed for the club. It is a brilliant club and it’s great to see how excited the manager is about the season and what we can achieve.

“I’m looking forward to the competition for a place in the squad. I’m confident in my ability and if the manager gives me the call then I’ll be ready to do my job.”

CORINTHIAN’S Gay Dawn Farm ground in Longfield will stage Gillingham Ladies’ home games this season.

The Gills’ spent the past five seasons playing their home games at Chatham Town, but will play Milton Keynes Dons at their new home on Sunday 28 August 2016.

CRAY WANDERERS have confirmed the signings of former Southend United striker Seedy (Sid) Njie and Max Williams, a midfielder who played for Southern Counties East Football League side Erith Town last season.

DARTFORD manager Tony Burman has completed the signing of former Southend United, Torquay United and Dover Athletic striker Duane Ofori-Acheampong, 23, ahead of tomorrow’s home Vanarama National League South opener against Wealdstone at Princes Park.

Burman told “I am delighted that Duane has finally come on board. He is a big target man and something different to our other strikers.  I think he will compliment the squad and give another dimension to our game.

“At 23 years of age he has had experience at Southend, Torquay and Dover and I’m sure he has the hunger to get back to the top of non-league football.”

DOVER ATHLETIC travel to Wrexham on the opening day of their Vanarama National League campaign with four new players.

Striker Moses Emmanuel – who scored 37 goals in two seasons for Bromley – has signed for the club after the expiry of his two-year contract at Hayes Lane.

Dover Athletic have also added Jahmal Howlett-Mundle to the squad, with the former Hearts and Crystal Palace centre back impressing on trial in pre-season.

The London-born defender spent nine seasons at Crystal Palace before moving north of the border to Hearts, where he was on the brink of the first-team before his departure. The deal, however, is subject to international clearance.

Chris Kinnear has also signed winger/striker Ira Jackson Junior on a two-year contract.  The 19-year-old helped Worthing win the Ryman League Division One South play-offs last season.

Former Welling United manager Loui Fazakerley, 32, has also registered as a player, having joined the club towards the end of last season as fitness coach after leaving Park View Road, where he made 219 appearances for Welling United.  He suffered an Achilles injury on the opening day of last season.

DULWICH HAMLET manager Gavin Rose has unveiled the signing of former Crawley Town striker/winger Gavin Tomlin, 32, who has made over 250 appearances in the Football League during a 10-year professional career.

Rose told the club website: “After enjoying the environment during our pre-season at the club, Gavin Tomlin has decided to sign for the forthcoming season.

“The decision to stop playing professionally coincides with Gavin’s growing business interests and this opportunity gives him the time to commit more time to grow it further.  We are delighted to gain his talent and experience within the dressing room.

Gillingham-born Tomlin has also played for Port Vale, Southend United, Gillingham, Torquay United, Dagenham & Redbridge, Brentford and Yeovil Town but has dropped down to the Ryman Premier League to play for Dulwich Hamlet.

EBBSFLEET UNITED kick-off their Vanarama National League South campaign underway with a visit from newly-promoted side Poole Town tomorrow.

Manager Daryl McMahon told “They’re a promoted side and you don’t get out of any league if you’ve not got something about you plus a squad of good players. We’ve got to be right on it from the moment 3pm comes on Saturday.”

FAVERSHAM TOWN boss Ray Turner has backed youth and shown faith in the players that reached the Ryman League Division One South play-off Final.

Goalkeeper Simon Overland has been released and looks set to sign for league rivals Sittingbourne after losing his number one spot while battling back from a leg injury.

Will Thomas – who was briefly with the first team squad and played during pre-season – has also left to sign for another rival club, East Grinstead Town.

Sub keeper Tom Benham has been dual-registered with Southern Counties East Football League side Hollands & Blair to get senior experience.

Turner, who has named a 20-man squad ahead of the new season, told “Simon has been a tremendous goalkeeper for this club and all the boys will miss him in the dressing room.

“Ultimately, after coming back from serious injury Simon is now ready to play games but recognises that Will Godmon has become no 1 at the club so reluctantly he is seeking first team football elsewhere.  Whoever signs Simon will get a wonderful goalkeeper and a great character.

“Will Thomas has signed for East Grinstead, who are able to promise him first team football - something I was unable to give him and guarantees on – and we wish him well.”

Faversham Town’s squad, captained by Ryan Cooper, for the new season is:

Goalkeepers:  Will Godmon, Tom Benham
Defenders: Ryan Cooper, Matt Bourne, John Scarborough, Jamie Maxted, Ryan Cheek, Renford Tenyue, Steve Ratcliff
Midfielders: George Monger, Dan Carrington, Charley Robertson, Josh Stanford, Kieron Campbell, Bola Dawadu, Sam Bewick
Forwards: Luke Harvey, Dean Grant, Liam King, Jack Sellens

GREENWICH BOROUGH have unveiled the signing of midfielder Amadu Waritay, 19, who had a trial with Dartford in pre-season. He has previously been in the Academies at Reading and Crystal Palace.

HOLMESDALE welcome Haywards Heath Town in The FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round at Oakley Road tomorrow.

“I’m looking forward to my first competitive game as a non-league manager on Saturday,” said Ian Varley, who takes charge of the Bromley-based club for the first time.

Varley, a full-time football coach for the Kent FA, was Simon Copley’s assistant manager at Glebe last season when they guided the Chislehurst based club to a third-place finish in the Kent Invicta League and a cup double.

HYTHE TOWN welcome local rivals Folkestone Invicta to Reachfields Stadium tomorrow for a Testimonial Match for defender John Walker.

Walker has made 354 appearances for Hythe Town after turning out for Folkestone Invicta’s youth team.

The Cannons have lost midfielder James Morrish, who has signed for Ryman League Division One North side AFC Hornchurch.

Folkestone Invicta boss Neil Cugley told “Walks is a great lad and I hope as many of our supporters will be able to support this game.”

Cugley is expected to field striker Ben Pattie, 20, in the game tomorrow. 

“We’ll again be without our most experienced striker Carl Rook, who picked up a nasty shin injury at Sittingbourne and needed to look at our forward options.

“We’ve played some excellent attacking football in almost every one of our warm-up games but the finishing has not been as good as we would like.

“I don’t now want to risk either Rooky before the start of the league next weekend and with (striker) Harry Smith again continuing to attract a lot of interest, we need to bring someone else in.”

Pattie, who broke into senior football with Hemel Hempstead Town, was snapped up by Queens Park Rangers as a 17-year-old when Harry Redknapp was the manager at Loftus Road.

He played with some success for the West London side’s Under 21s and has since had extended loan spells at both National League Woking and Hendon – who will be among Folkestone’s rivals in the Ryman Premier League this coming season.

PHOENIX SPORTS have signed attacking midfielder Steven Carvell from their Ryman League Division One North rivals Thurrock.

SHEPPEY UNITED chairman Matthew Smith says he cannot wait for the club’s return to The FA Cup after a 26-year absence. 

The newly-promoted Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side welcome Badshot Lea to Holm Park in the Extra Preliminary Round tomorrow.

“I cannot wait for the day to come now,” Smith told

“This will be another historic moment here at Holm Park and I urge all islanders and supporters to come down and experience the atmosphere.

“We have waited 26 long years to host an FA Cup tie here on the Isle of Sheppey and I am going to make sure it is a day to remember.”

THAMESMEAD TOWN have confirmed that left-back Jay Porter has signed a new one-year contract to stay at the Ryman League Division One North club.

TONBRIDGE ANGELS have launched a 12th Man Scheme, where fans can personally contribute to the playing budget to strengthen Steve McKimm’s squad.

“It’s been talked about and discussed on a number of occasions but at last it’s here,” the Ryman Premier League club said in a statement.

“You can personally contribute additional funding to the playing budget so that Steve can strengthen the team as necessary.  This, of course, will be in addition to the playing budget already agreed by the Tonbridge Angels board. Any player acquired through 12th Man funding will be identified so supporters will be able to see who through their efforts has joined the team.”

WHITSTABLE TOWN have re-signed battling midfielder Nick Treadwell on dual-registration terms from Ramsgate.

Treadwell suffered a horrific head injury during the Herne Bay v Ramsgate game earlier in the year and missed the rest of the season with concussion. Thankfully, he had made a full recovery and although he has signed for Whitstable Town, he will still be available for Ramsgate, if required.