We need to concentrate all our efforts on achieving increased income, says Folkestone's Jim Pellatt
Invicta finished runners-up in the Ryman League Division One South last season but were defeated on penalties by Leatherhead in the play-off final.
They were held to a 1-1 draw at Three Bridges on the opening day of the season with summer signing Ian Draycott scoring a late equaliser yesterday afternoon.
Folkestone Invicta’s achievement of reaching the play-offs four times in five years is a record to be proud of, but the signs are now there that their newly reconstituted board are ready to embark on a course leading to get promotion and establish the club at Premier Division level.
Storm damage around Christmas 2013 left Invicta without seating accommodation and eventually led to demolition of their main stand during the summer.
The only practical and affordable option which would enable the club to satisfy league regulations in time for the start of the 2014/15 season was to switch 336 of the seats from the old Wilf Armory Stand to the Brian Merryman Stand opposite.
With the creditors agreement due to be repaid in February 2015 it appears the now six-strong board are determined to embark on a course of onwards and upwards, with upwards now a shorter-term aim and not just a dream, somewhere in the dim and distant future.
Following a board meeting last weekend, and referring initially to the work on the stands and ground this summer, Mr Pellatt told www.folkestoneinvictafc.co.uk: “We have spent £15,000 on that work so far and are pleased that what we’ve done seems to have been universally accepted.
“The seating and standing combined now meets Ryman Premier grading criteria once again so this season we want to concentrate on fulfilling what was initially a long-term goal, then a medium one, and now a short term objective - that of eventually establishing ourselves in the Ryman Premier league.”
He added: “We want to continue to play the very attractive style of football our manager Neil Cugley has established and which has proved so popular with supporters and won our team many admirers in recent seasons - especially last time around when, despite all our problems, we finished second in the league and were within a whisker of going up.
“We must also look forward, and will only consider building a new stand in the medium term if it can be achieved through grants and so on, and doesn't cost us a penny.
“We do also need to concentrate all our efforts on achieving increased income from all sources, so that when we do achieve promotion we are able to fund a side that can be genuinely competitive at the higher level.
“The core playing budget will remain the same this season, but if Neil wishes to strengthen the squad, we will seek to raise additional revenue specifically for that, and not out of normal trading.”
Tenth-placed Folkestone Invicta welcome Faversham Town to Cheriton Road on Tuesday night.
Ray Turner’s side began their campaign with a 2-1 home win over Worthing, the goals coming from Dave Botterill and Wayne Wilson.
Visit Folkestone Invicta’s website: www.folkestoneinvictafc.co.uk
Folkestone Invicta v Faversham Town
Ryman League Division One South
Tuesday 12th August 2014
Kick Off 7:45pm
At Cheriton Road, Folkestone, Kent CT19 5JU