Soccer Shorts: Obviously, we’re not going to be expected to go and get promoted in the National League, says promoted Ebbsfleet United boss Daryl McMahon
Here are tonight’s Soccer Shorts articles
BROMLEY say the installation of a new state-of-the-art 3G pitch at Hayes Lane remains on schedule.
Works started with the removal of the top soil along with the removal of the perimeter spectator panels and posts. Work has now begun on the formation level which will include the additional drainage system. This will be followed by additional foundation works, which include a new stone base, tarmac and a geotextile membrane.
CHARLTON ATHLETIC have confirmed that Roger Johnson, Adam Chicksen, Dimitar Mitov, Terrell Thomas and Chris Miller will leave the League One club this summer following the expiration of their current contracts.
Meanwhile, Johnnie Jackson and Andrew Crofts have both triggered 12-month extensions on their current contracts during the 2016-17 season, keeping them at The Valley until the summer of 2018.
CRAY WANDERERS have re-signed striker Michael Power for a third time, while midfielder James Duckworth has re-signed for the club after taking a year out to recover from injury.
CROWBOROUGH ATHLETIC begin the search for a new reserve team management team after Jimmy Anderson and his assistant Terry Fenn have resigned from their positions.
“Neither Jimmy or Terry live locally to the club or indeed Crowborough and have found that the travelling to our area for home games, along with work and family commitments, is taking too much of their time up and is not tenable in the long term,” said a club statement.
“It has also not helped that the reserve squad training has taken place away from the Crowborough area and many of the players do not live in the region either.
“Therefore, with the 3G pitch hopefully coming on stream ready for the start of the 2017-18 campaign, the difficulties in getting here from work and getting back home at a reasonable time will be exacerbated for both of them.”
DARTFORD manager Tony Burman has retained the services of Elliot Bradbrook, Alex Brown, Danny Harris, Ryan Hayes, Deren Ibrahim, Tom Murphy, Lee Noble, Duane Ofori-Acheampong, Andy Pugh, Keaton Wood, all of whom have all accepted new contracts for next season.
Two players, Tom Bonner and Ronnie Vint are already under contract for next season.
Burman has offered Luke Wanadio and Tom Wynter new deals for the new season. Wynter turned it down and has signed for Margate, while winger Wanadio is still considering the offer made to him.
“Tom Wynter turned down the offer of new terms, which I fully respect and would like to thank him for all his efforts for Dartford FC and wish him all the best for the future,” Burman told www.dartfordfc.com.
“After discussions with Becka-Kah Dembele and Ben Francis it was mutually decided that to progress their own development they needed to be playing regular first team football. These two young players have been a credit to Dartford FC and I wish them all the very best for the future.”
Dembele finished last season out on loan at Ryman League Division One North side Thamesmead Town, while Francis put in many impressive performances in the Southern Counties East Football League for Cray Valley, scoring a sublime volley in their 2-1 win over Metropolitan Police, which helped the Eltham-based club win the London Senior Cup for the first time.
“I am delighted with the work we have completed so far and without doubt we have an excellent group of players to start the foundations and build for the new season,” said Burman, who guided the club to a third-place finish in the Vanarama National League South last season.
DOVER ATHLETIC goalkeeper Mitch Walker has agreed a new one-year deal to remain at the club.
The 25-year-old played 16 times in the National League last season as well as in the two FA Cup ties against Cambridge United.
The former England C keeper was one of nine players from last season’s squad who had been offered new deals to stay at Crabble.
Assistant manager Jake Leberl told www.doverathletic.com: “Mitch has been a pleasure to work with since he arrived (from Brighton & Hove Albion in May 2012).
“His professionalism, work rate and attitude has always been first class and to top it off, he’s a top goalkeeper who is improving year on year.”
Dover Athletic have signed striker Jamie Allen, 21, who was Southport’s leading scorer in the National League last season with 10 goals in 35 appearances.
League rivals, Sutton United, meanwhile, have snapped up strikers Ross Lafayette, 31, and Moses Emmanuel, 27, from Dover Athletic.
EBBSFLEET UNITED manager Daryl McMahon expects a busy few weeks ahead after winning promotion from the Vanarama National League South after beating Chelmsford City 2-1 at Stonebridge Road despite having winger Anthony Cook sent off just before half-time.
“Probably 10 agents phoned me today,” McMahon told www.ebbsfleetunited.co.uk.
“It’s going to happen now we’re at that level. We’re an attractive club to play for, geographically in a good place in terms of Kent, Essex, London. Everyone knows what’s happening with the club in terms of the stadium, etc, so it’s going to be a busy few months.
“It’s just about us making sure we get the right people here, like we have now. We’ve got some terrific players here and a lot of them are out of contract so we need to sit down with those players in the next couple of weeks and sort a few people out.”
The Fleet manager won’t have his head turned by hasty offers made to him, saying he’s sticking to his principles of having the right people around the club.
“Things come out of left-field this time of year,” said the Irishman.
“People you probably think you can’t get, they don’t get what they want and it filters down, so you’ve got to be patient. If you look at us into July 2016 we had Jack Powell and Darren McQueen on trial and nine, ten months later they’re both England C players. That shows you what quality you can pick up late if you are patient and get in the right people.”
Looking ahead to next season’s National League, McMahon said: “I think it’s going to be more physical, a lot of goals are scored on set-pieces.
“We do play good football but I think we’ve conceded 30 goals in 42 games this season so we can defend as well, we’re not just small. Dave Winfield’s quite big!
“We’ll stick to the same principles, that’s how I think we should play, that’s how I think football should be played if you can do it.
“It’s a different season, it’s a different challenge. Obviously, we’re not going to be expected to go and get promoted in the National League.
“You look at the sides at that level, your Tranmere’s, Leyton Orient’s, Hartlepool’s, some very, very big sides in there.
“We’ve got three Kent derbies (Bromley, Dover Athletic and Maidstone United), Dagenham & Redbridge. It’s a very big league. In real terms we’re probably a small club in this division so we have to show everyone what we’re about. It’s going to be different for us in terms of us being the underdog so we’ll adapt to that.”
FOLKESTONE INVICTA boss Neil Cugley says he is facing up to the loss of Frankie Chappell and Liam Friend.
Following the shock departure of club captain Friend to their Isthmian League Premier rivals Margate recently, Cugley has confirmed that he has lost a second central defender.
Cugley told www.folkestoneinvictafc.co.uk: “They’ve both been tremendous servants to this football club and we’ve achieved so much during the time they’ve been here.
“I was bitterly disappointed to lose Friendy in the way that we did, but that’s football I guess. I’ve been in the game long enough to realise that.
“But Frank had told me about a month ago that he was finding travelling up here from Eastbourne three times a week was getting too much for him. It’s not the easiest of roads and by the time he’d paid for all that petrol he cannot have been making too much out of what we’ve been paying him.
“We were lucky that when he got the job teaching down there a couple of years back we were still able to persuade him to stay at the club. He’s a family man too, now, of course and it often too him two hours each way, which not many would have wanted to do on top of a day’s work.
“He needs an operation to clean his knee and his ligaments out but that’s hopefully just routine and shouldn’t take too long.
“He’s kept me informed of the situation and done everything just as it should have been. He’s talking to a couple of clubs close to his home in Sussex. Where ever he goes he goes with our thanks for everything he’s done here and our very best wishes for the future.”
Cugley now has to find two new players to fill their boots.
“Liam did a great job for me as captain. If I needed anything communicated to the rest of the team about pick-up times or training, I could always rely on him getting the message out,” said the manager.
“He was players’ player a couple of times and I find it surprising that he never won the supporters’ trophy. If that’d had been me and as a championship winning captain I might perhaps have felt that I wasn’t appreciated enough.”
Cugley, who has just returned from the club’s end-of-the-season trip to Magaluf, added: “I’ve had some time now to get over the shock that they’ll both be gone. They’ve been one of the best defensive partnerships at our level for a long, long time.
“That’s football but I’ve got my head round the situation and I’m off to talk to three new players.”
GREENWICH BOROUGH have agreed a deal with goalkeeper Ben Bridle-Card, who joins the club from Whyteleafe for his second spell. The 20-year-old impressed during spells with Sittingbourne, Faversham Town and Whyteleafe last season.
Gary Alexander has also agreed a deal to sign highly-rated midfielder Jack Sammoutis, 23, from their Isthmian League Division One South rivals Walton Casuals.
Meanwhile, central defender Lewwis Spence has played his last game for the club as he has signed for Thurrock.
HERNE BAY striker Mark Lovell scooped three player-of-the-year awards at the club, collecting the manager’s, players’ and supporters’ vote. The 33-year-old striker scored 24 goals for the club last season.
K SPORTS’ begin the search for a coach for their reserve side that compete in the Andreas Carter Joma Kent County League Division One Central & East division.
MAIDSTONE UNITED boss Jay Saunders says he’s happy with how his squad is shaping up for their second season in the Vanarama National League.
The Stones finished in 14th place last season and it’s been a busy couple of weeks for the manager.
“I have agreed deals for next season with Stuart Lewis, Kevin Lokko and Jack Richards,” Saunders told www.maidstoneunited.co.uk.
“You’ll already have seen the (signings) for Delano Sam Yorke, Seth Nana Twumasi and Reece Prestedge that were made in the past week or so.
“Alongside those there are already contracts in place for Lee Worgan, Jack Paxman and Harry Phipps. Tom Mills is contracted for next season as well but we’re discussing terms because of the change from evening training to the three mornings a week.
“Offers have been made to Alex Flisher, Jamar Loza, Magnus Okuonaghae and Joe Piggott and I hope to have updates on those in the next few weeks.
“We’ve already announced the departures of Anthony Acheampong and Jamie Coyle. In addition to those I can also confirm that Callum Driver, Ben Greenhalgh, Vas Karagiannis, Yemi Odubade and Bobby-Joe Taylor have left the club.
“I am sure everyone will join me in thanking them for their contribution and wishing them the best for the future.
“I am pleased with where we’re at for next season. There’s still lots to do and I’ll keep everyone updated as we go along.”
MARGATE have unveiled the signing of Hastings United goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley, 33, on a one-year deal.
The relegated Isthmian League Premier club have also re-signed winger Vas Karagiannis, following his release from Maidstone United, where he spent time out on loan at both Dulwich Hamlet and Tonbridge Angels last season.
PHOENIX SPORTS Reserves were defeated 2-0 by Stansfeld last night as their opponents retained the Hospital Charity Cup at Park View Road. Frankie Beale scored a first half free-kick, before Aaron Evans netted in the last minute.
TONBRIDGE ANGELS have confirmed that goalkeeper Anthony Di Bernardo and striker Tashi-Jay Kwayie have both pledged their immediate futures with the club next season.
Manager Steve McKimm told www.tonbridgeangelsonline.co.uk: “I’m delighted to have secured the services of both these players for the coming campaign.
“Tony is a big player for us in every sense of the word and will come back from his injury stronger, while Tashi can continue his development as an exciting young striker who will only get better.”
The Ryman Premier League club have also signed left-back Jeyasiva Sivapathasundaram to plug the gap created by Jack Parter’s departure.
“I’m delighted that Jey has agreed to join us. He is an experienced player at Ryman Premier level and I know he can’t wait to pull on an Angels shirt,” McKimm said of the former Cray Wanderers defender.
SEVENOAKS TOWN have signed goalkeeper Craig Holloway, who played a major part in helping Greenwich Borough to the Southern Counties East Football League title and third-place in the Ryman League Division One South table during the past couple of seasons.
THAMESMEAD TOWN have confirmed that defenders Leon Smith, Laurent Mendy and midfielder Tom O’Connor have agreed terms and have signed contracts to stay with the club.