Soccer Shorts: Ebbsfleet United sell Shilow Tracey, 17, to Tottenham Hotspur
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AC LONDON are one of six Kent Invicta League clubs that have applied for promotion to Step Five. Bearsted, Glebe, Lydd Town, Meridian VP and Sheppey United have all submitted applications for promotion.
CANTERBURY CITY have signed goalkeeper Nick Shaw from Ramsgate.
CHARLTON ATHLEIC have appointed José Riga as head coach on an 18-month contract.
The 58-year-old returns to The Valley having successfully steered the club away from relegation danger at the end of the 2013/14 season.
He oversaw 16 Championship matches during his first stint in SE7, winning seven, draw three and accumulating 24 points to lift the Addicks from the bottom of the Championship to 18th position.
Only Leicester City, who went on to win the title, recorded more Championship points in the remainder of 2013/14, following Riga’s appointment in March.
Charlton owner Roland Duchâtelet told www.cafc.co.uk: “This has been a disappointing season for everyone connected with Charlton and the board take responsibility for that.
“Some things, like an unprecedented number of injuries, we could not have foreseen. But we have also made errors in recruitment, mistakes we have immediately tried to address in January.
“It was also crucial we dealt with the position of the Head Coach. José did an excellent job in his short period with Charlton two seasons ago. He was very popular with supporters and I believe that he will get us back on track.
“There are 20 matches of the season still to play and it’s vital that we battle for every point.”
Riga guided Belgian club Standard Liege to the last 16 of the Europa League in the 2011/12 season and, earlier in his career, he won the Belgian second division with R.A.E.C. Mons for the first time in the club’s history in his first year in charge.
He also spent time as technical director of Cercle Sportif Vise in Belgium and worked at the Aspire Academy in Qatar.
After leaving Charlton in the summer of 2014, Riga had a short spell at Blackpool before re-joining Liege for the end of the 2014/15 season.
He was appointed as Head Coach of Ligue 2 club Metz in June 2015 but left his December with them position in sixth place.
Riga replaces Karel Fraeye at the helm at The Valley, with Charlton Athletic second-from-bottom in the Championship table having won four, drawn eight and lost 14 defeats in the league, the latest being their 5-0 thrashing at Huddersfield Town on Tuesday, which turned out to be Fraeye’s last game in charge of the troubled club.
“The club would like to place on record its thanks to Karel for his tireless work and the many positive contributions he made to the wider football setup at Charlton.”
CRAY VALLEY manager Paul Gross has unveiled the signings of defender Corey Holder and midfielder Charles Ofusu-Hene from Ryman League Division One South side Chatham Town.
DARTFORD boss Tony Burman has extended defender Mark Onyemah’s loan spell at the club from League Two side Luton Town.
DEAL TOWN will be hoping to end their poor run of results against Corinthian when the two sides meet at Gay Dawn Farm tomorrow.
Deal have gained just one point from their last four meetings with the Longfield outfit, who are enjoying another good season and currently sit in fourth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League table.
Boss Derek Hares told www.dealtownfc.co.uk: “Corinthian have been a bogey side for us but we’ve blossomed as a team over the past month an if we reproduce our excellent recent home form there’s no reason why we can’t get something.”
EBBSFLEET UNITED Academy midfielder Shilow Tracey has completed his move to Tottenham Hotspur for an undisclosed fee.
The highly-rated 17-year-old has been creating plenty of ripples lately with clubs including Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, Ipswich Town, Reading and West Ham monitoring his progress.
But having trialled with the North London club and been taken on the Spurs development squad’s recent Florida tour – where Tracey scored twice in three appearances – it is the White Hart Lane club that has won the race for his signature.
Tracey was part of the first intake of players to the Ebbsfleet United Academy since club owners KEH Sports created it and Fleet vice chairman Peter Varney told www.ebbsfleetunited.co.uk: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Shilow and we are proud of the fact that our youth academy is producing quality young players just one year after we set it up.
“I would like to thank Spurs for the professional manner in which they have handled the transfer negotiations. I must also recognise the work done with Shilow by Daryl McMahon and his staff in our youth academy.”
ERITH & BELVEDERE striker Jamie Wood has decided to hang up his boots at the end of his 21-year playing career.
ERITH 147 SPORTS have applied for promotion to the Kent Invicta League, alongside Gravesend-based outfit Guru Nanak and Snodland Town.
FAVERSHAM TOWN have signed striker Kieron Campbell, 20, as part of the deal that took striker Stuart King to strugglers Whitstable Town.
Campbell was unable to make his Faversham debut last Saturday with the trip to South Park postponed. But the frontman did manage to get some action, scoring the winner for former club Fisher in their 2-1 win over Canterbury City.
Turner was at the Southern Counties East League match at Ashford United’s Homelands Stadium and was impressed with what he saw from his new signing.
Turner told www.favershamtownfc.co.uk: “Kieron will be coming into the squad for Saturday. Josh Stanford is still away, sunning himself in Australia, which I can hardly blame him.
“But Kieron will come into the squad and make-up that fifth person in terms of the substitutes bench. He will give us a different option. He is another forward, very, very skilful, and good one-on-one.
“I saw him play on Saturday (for Fisher) and he was the best player on the pitch. I look forward to working with him.”
The Lilywhites will also have goalkeeper William Godmon and midfielder George Monger available after both rejected approaches from other clubs and their boss was pleased with the loyalty they have shown.
Turner said: “It’s important that I keep the players I think will be the future of the club and that’s my priority now.
“If these clubs think they can come and just pick our best players, they can’t. I won’t let that happen and nor will the club. That’s a good sign.”
GLEBE manager Simon Copley has signed Jordan Anderson and Ross Morley, who have decided to drop two divisions to sign for the Kent Invicta League leaders from Peacehaven & Telscombe and East Grinstead Town respectively.
HERNE BAY Ladies team will be looking to keep up their impressive record in cups when they host Meridian at Winch’s Field in the Kent FA Women’s Cup Semi-Final on Sunday (2:30pm kick-off). Victory would keep up the Ladies record of appearing in a Cup Final (and they have never lost in a Final) every season since the team was reformed four years ago.
London Corinthian’s play Parkwood Rangers in the other semi-final at Well Hall, Kidbrooke Lane, London SE9 6TE
HYTHE TOWN boss Clive Cook says he has lost a couple of players due to completely different circumstances
Striker Craig Thompson has quit the club and has signed for their Ryman League Division One South rivals, while
Cook told www.hythetownfc.co.uk: “Two of my players have left the squad in the last week, both in completely different circumstances.
“I wanted to try and explain those departures and leave it up to you, the supporters, to make your own minds up regarding both situations.
“Firstly the simpler of the two, Craig Thompson, a lad who has been a great servant over the years and someone who has been very loyal to Hythe Town over the time I have been associated with the club.
“Unfortunately, like most players Thommo simply wants guaranteed football, which I could not give him. Another club (Ramsgate) came in with a seven-day approach and told him they would guarantee football every week, so Thommo has decided to make the move.
“I have no problem with this situation, but a word of caution for the player, I don’t know how any football club can basically assure a player he has a starting place in the side every week. But every club is different so who knows?
“I hope for Thommo's sake they are true to their word. Thommo is a smashing lad to have around the place, but we move on.
Former Corinthian and Erith & Belvedere midfielder Ryan Johnson has decided to drop down a league to sign for Southern Counties East Football League outfit Greenwich Borough.
“I need to watch what I say with this one as I don’t want to upset anyone,” said Cook.
“As they say it’s only a game of football and there are a lot worse things happening in the world. But as a manager you do get close to your players and create a bond, a friendship and a trust between you.
“You also try to help them in other parts of their life and RJ was no different, he was part of our football life at our club, as a result I took this departure very personally.
“In the time I worked with RJ I had grown to love the man as a footballer, a person and as a friend and I will carry on doing so.
“Even at our level and below football is a money orientated business and every player will have their head turned if a huge financial package is flashed under their nose, that's the way it is.
“However, certain aspects of the way the other club (Greenwich Borough) did their business were far from satisfactory, but it’s done now and RJ has departed.
“I wish them both all the love, luck and success in the world and hope they achieve everything in football they set out to do with their moves to their new clubs.
“We at Hythe Town move on and strive to achieve the goals that we have set ourselves, please carry on giving us your fantastic support on the way.”
KENT FOOTBALL UNITED have appointed Ahmed Deen, 31, as their new player-coach. The Dartford-based club are also looking for another club to groundshare their ground next season.
LORDSWOOD manager James Collins has signed Alex Hyde, Malik Ouani, Richie Stevens, Richie Hammil, Jack Dimmock, Mark Axell, Nick Whybrow and George Mitchell.
LYDD TOWN boss Dave Smith has unveiled the signings of John Elwood (Rusthall), Richard Quigley (Rolvenden) and Ryan Norman (Kennington). The club’s home game against Bearsted on Wednesday was postponed due to a boiler breakdown. The Kent Invicta League insisted that the game should be postponed as there was no hot water or heating available at the ground.
MAIDSTONE UNITED have confirmed that Tom Mills, 24, has signed a two-year contract extension at the club.
The defender has made 275 appearance for the club and will remain until the summer of 2018 at least.
Mills – who is the current record appearance holder since the club reformed - made his first team debut in August 2010 and in the past five years has made the left-back position his own.
SHEPPEY UNITED have announced Zach Foster-Crouch, 22, is the club’s new director of youth football at the Kent Invicta League club.
“I am delighted to announce that Zach has agreed to join us here at Holm Park,” chairman Matthew Smith told www.sheppeyunitedfc.co.uk.
“Zach brings with him an experience that can only push the youth football on the Isle of Sheppey to new heights.
“Zach comes to us following his chief scouting role at Ebbsfleet United and coaching at Leyton Orient to name some of his achievements, all at the tender age of 22.
“Zach and I are on the same page and he is fully aware of the standards we expect at the club and what we shall be looking for from our youth section.
“I know that these are exciting times for youth football on the Isle of Sheppey.”
An Youth alliance meeting including Sheppey United an local sides Range Rovers FC, New Road FC and Sheerness East FC will be held at Oasis Academy on 18 February at 7:30pm where plans the club have been discussing will be made public.
Mr Smith said: “It will give all parents a chance to speak directly to myself and the Sheppey United youth committee about how we shall endeavour to implement the changes we have planned for Kent Youth League football here at Sheppey United FC.”
TUNBRIDGE WELLS boss Jason Bourne says his side must start improving – starting at Canterbury City tomorrow.
The Culverden Stadium outfit are underperforming in the bottom five of the Southern Counties East Football League table and Bourne is keen to come away from Homelands Stadium with three points in the bag.
“Firstly my aims for 2016 are quite simply improvement in every area but most importantly results and the development of the young players we have on board, as they will ultimately be the future of the club,” Bourne told www.tunbridgewellsfc.com.
“We train twice a week and always get full attendance and the place is in great spirit. So I'm confident we will see the fruits of our hard work very soon, starting this weekend at Canterbury to get us rolling into the new year.
“We have also over the last few weeks welcomed some fresh faces that I am excited about, they will give us a bit more mobility in the team that I feel we have lacked probably over the last couple of seasons to be honest.
“We now have the second half of the season to build something special and it's something that the players and coaching staff are looking forward to.
“The support we received both home and away last year from the fans was fantastic and we look forward to seeing and playing for you in the year ahead.”
WELLING UNITED have signed Slovakian goalkeeper Marek Rodak, 19, on loan from Championship side Fulham until the end of the season. The Wings have also signed former Kidderminster Harriers defender Jake Green, 21, and winger Kadell Daniel, 19, arrives from Woking. Manager Loui Fazakerley is also searching for an established striker to help score the goals to keep the club in the Vanarama National League.