Soccer Shorts: The board have given me a 15% increase in the playing budget but that will not go as far as some people imagine, says Folkestone Invicta boss Neil Cugley
Here are tonight’s Soccer Shorts articles
BROMLEY will be holding an Open Day at Hayes Lane on Saturday 19 May, a day before playing Brackley Town in The Buildbase FA Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium.
The Open Day will be a fitting send-off for Neil Smith and his players as they will depart afterwards by team coach for an overnight stay ahead of the clubs return to Wembley after a 69-year absence.
The team will have a 90 minute open training session on the stadium pitch at 10:00, before a signing and photograph session with fans at 11:30 and at 12:00 the club will hand out their Awards.
“We’d love to see as many of our supporters as possible, both young and old, join us from 10:00 onwards to celebrate a fantastic season and give the players a fitting send-off ahead of what promises to be a history day for our club,” said a club statement.
CRAY WANDERERS holding midfielder Lea Dawson has left the club.
DOVER ATHLETIC have confirmed their retained list.
Defenders Connor Essam; Josh Passley and Manny Adebowale, midfielder Mitch Brundle and strikers Jamie Allen and Tobi-Sho Silva are already under contract.
Aziz Deen-Conteh was released during the course of the season, while James Alabi, Kevin Lokko, Keanu Marsh-Brown, Ade Azeez and Anthony Jeffrey have returned to their parent clubs on conclusion of their respective loan deals.
“Negotiations are continuing between the club and the other players in the squad from last season and future news will be announced.
“Dover Athletic would like to place on record its thanks to all players departing for their efforts and commitment during their time at Crabble and we wish them every success in the future,” added the club statement.
FOLKESTONE INVICTA manager Neil Cugley has revealed he has been given a 15% budget increase for next season.
The club finished in fourth-place in the Bostik Premier Division this season but were humiliated at Hendon in a 4-0 defeat in the play-off semi-final.
“We’ve played so well in several of the bigger games, but in three matches particularly we could have done better,” Cugley told www.folkestoneinvictafc.co.uk.
“I think all of us realise the games I mean – I’m talking about the FA Cup tie at Slough back in October, the crucial home game with Dulwich Hamlet recently, and the performance at Hendon.
“At times we’ve looked the really good side I believe that we are, but in those three games the players have let themselves and everyone else down
“Let’s face it, if our season had ended with the 2-2 draw at Billericay wouldn’t having the kind of conversation that we are.
“I’d like to think that most of our players will be better players for the experience we have all had this season.
“We finished fourth in the end with Hendon going above us on the last day, I firmly believe that the top four in the table were the best four teams in this league.
“As has been said so many times over the course of the last six or seven months, we have achieved far more than we ever thought we would, and we’re looking forward to next season already.
“But having done this well, it will be that much harder to keep it up and I’ve no real reason to think that we can’t do that.
“These are a great bunch of players, and even more important, they’re all really good people. I can’t wait to get started and working with them again next season.
“As we’ve already announced some have already signed on again while no one has said they are not going to be back again in a couple of weeks time.
“The board have given me a 15% increase in the playing budget but that will not go as far as some people imagine. The players who have taken us where we are all deserve a little bit more, but we all realise that we need a couple more players in the squad if we can possibly afford it.
“We’ve got to defend better when we need to, and I’m talking to a couple of players right now with that in mind. We probably won’t know any more just yet, though.”
HYTHE TOWN have confirmed that Charlie Webster has signed a contract to stay at Reachfields Stadium next season.
LEATHERHEAD have appointed Nikki Bull as their new player-manager on a two-year contract.
MAIDSTONE UNITED have confirmed that Josh Hare, 23, has left the club after turning down an offer for next season.
Manager Jay Saunders told www.maidstoneunited.co.uk: “I am disappointed to see Josh go as he’d done well for us. We’d been talking before the season ended about next year and he was very much in my plans.
“It’s the time of year when players are getting offers elsewhere and despite my best efforts and a good offer, he’s decided to move on.”
The defender signed for the Stones last summer from Eastbourne Borough and made 35 appearances during the club’s second season in the National League.
Winger, Andre Coker, has agreed terms for next season.
He arrived at Maidstone United in January on loan from Premier League club Crystal Palace and following his release form Selhurst Park and Saunders was straight in with an offer.
Saunders said: “I am delighted to get Cokes on board for next season. I was impressed from the first time I saw him and during the loan he’s more than proved he’s got what it takes to make that step from under 23s to men’s football.
“He’s had interest from elsewhere but it says a lot for our set-up and the fans that he wanted to agree a deal with us.”
Coker added: “I am very happy to have agreed terms. I like being here, playing in front of the fans and I want to be a part of what Jay’s planning for next season.
“We’ve spoke about what we’re trying to do next season and what he wants from me and hopefully I can fulfil that and fulfil my potential.”
Midfielder Ollie Muldoon, meanwhile, has been invited back for pre-season.
Saunders said of the former Charlton Athletic and Gillingham player: “He’s someone with a lot of ability but unfortunately we didn’t get to see much of him through (his hamstring) injury.
“He’s got the next six or seven weeks to get himself right. If he does, there’s the chance for him to get the pre-season he missed out on last year and put himself in contention for a place in the squad.”
Magnus Okuonghae and Darious Osei have left the club.
MARGATE have confirmed that Rob Marriot has stepped down from his position on the clubs board of directors.
“Rob joined Margate after three successful years as chairman at Deal Town FC, during which time he oversaw a number of vital develop projects, including a new clubhouse and hospitality suite,” said a club statement.
“With such experience and expertise, whilst a director at Hartsdown Park, Rob helped shape the club's bright future whilst providing valuable support during an important transitional period.
“The club would like to thank Rob for his dedicated help and service over a wide range of matters and wish him all the best for the future.”
The Bostik Premier Division club have also confirmed that 33-goal striker Jordan Chiedozie has left Hartsdown Park after deciding not to take up his option of a second year on his contract.
“I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the Margate fans, they made me feel welcome from the start and their support home and away was top class,” Chiedozie told www.margate-fc.co.uk.
“I’ve enjoyed my time and experience with Margate and wish the club the best for the future.”
Manager Steven Watt added: “Jordan’s goalscoring record during his time at Margate speaks volumes for his talent and skill. It goes without saying that we will miss his goalscoring threat and ability to create moments of magic during a game. We wish Jordan well and hope his time with us holds him in good stead.”
PHOENIX SPORTS manager Paul Bryon has issued his retained list for next season.
Steve Phillips, Ashley Probets, Lewis Mingle, Jack Barry, Danny Young, Jack Hopkins, Tony Robinson, Zak Bryon, Kelvin Ogboe, Freddie Olufsen,
Alfie Aldridge, Josh Jackson and Jonny Miller will be staying at the club.
SEVENOAKS TOWN manager Micky Collins has confirmed he has retained the services of 18-goal striker Kenny Pogue.
TONBRIDGE ANGELS manager Steve McKimm has issued his retained list.
Midfielders Sam Bantick, Luke Blewden, Xavier Vidal and strikers Alex Akrofi and Tashi-Jay Kwayie have departed Longmead Stadium.
Goalkeeper Jonathan Henly, defender Sonny Miles and midfielder Tom Parkinson have all signed new contracts, while left-back Jack Parter, defender Callum Adonis-Taylor and winger Tommy Whitnell have re-signed.
Manager Steve McKimm told www.tonbridgeangelsonline.co.uk: “This is arguably the most difficult task for any manager telling players that basically they no longer fit future plans and today has been no exception to that.
“I thank Blewie and Xavier for their services to the club, they have always given me 100% and I will help them if required o find other clubs.
“I wish Sam, who has decided his future lies elsewhere, the very best of luck where ever he may go and thank him for his efforts this season.
“We thank Alex for his efforts for the club and wish him the very best of luck for the future.
“We had offered Tashi improved terms and a contract but he has given all of this a lot of thought and we completely respect his decision.
Kwayie said: “I feel like if I sign, I will miss a lot of matches, so right now in my position I rather prioritise my work. I’d rather sign when I’m 100% ready to commit to football instead of messing you about early in the season.”
McKimm added: “Tom Parkinson, Jonathan Henly and Sonny Miles are integral to my plans for next season as they are a key part of the spine of the team. They are leaders in every sense of the word and I’m absolutely delighted they have signed.
“I’m absolutely delighted Jack has chosen to stay with us next season. He is a vital member of our defensive unit yet at the same time is always prepared to go forward thereby increasing our attacking options.
“The season before last Callum was playing under 18 youth football but he took his opportunity and I’m delighted he’s staying.
“Tommy had a rotten season last campaign with injuries but I’m backing him to come back stronger and I know he can’t wait to get going and make up for lost time.”