We're delighted with our start but not surprised, says Whitstable joint-boss Jim Ward

Thursday 28th August 2014
WHITSTABLE TOWN joint-manager Jim Ward says he’s delighted with his side’s start to the season.

The Oystermen are sitting in the dizzy-heights of fourth-place in the Ryman League Division One South table with three wins and three draws from their opening six games.

“It couldn’t have gone any better could it,” said Ward, who manages the club alongside his younger brother Danny.

“As manager’s me and Danny sat down and looked at the first six games before you come in The FA Cup and you say to yourself the target is always ten points.

“Then you look at the fixtures and you think Jesus! You have to go to Hastings and Guernsey and we’ve got a local derby against Ramsgate!

“We would have been delighted with eight, maybe nine points, but we’ve ended up with 12 and the lads are undefeated so we’re delighted!”

Ward has signed players that he is familiar with and that has helped the club start the season on the front foot.

“We like to get amongst them and organised during the summer,” explained Ward.

“We signed a lot of players but the lads’ we’ve signed have been with us even from the Maidstone, Sittingbourne and Ramsgate days.  They’re all lads that have played for us so we knew what we were bringing into the club.

“We knew the changing room. We knew the character of all the players and we know they’re all decent players so we’re not surprised. We’re delighted that we’ve got 12 points out of six games.”

Whitstable Town kick-off their FA Cup campaign with a trip to Walton Casuals on Saturday.

The Surrey side go into the Preliminary Round tie sitting at the foot of the Ryman League Division One South table with six defeats on the bounce.

Whitstable Town go into the tie as favourites but Ward said: “It’s funny. When the FA Cup draw came out we’re drawn away to Walton Casuals and if we beat them we’re away to Lordswood or Hythe, so on the face of it, difficult ties when you’re drawn against teams in your division.

“To go to Walton Casuals and Hythe, probably, on paper are really, really difficult.

“When the season starts Walton Casuals have played six and lost six and we’ve played six and we’re unbeaten. I just hope it’s not a banana skin on Saturday.

“By all accounts they’ve been playing very well so there’s certainly won’t be any complacency from Whitstable.

“We’ll go there. It’s almost fun, The FA Cup. Me and Danny have been fortunate to get to the First Round Proper with Ramsgate and they’re great days.

“You must meet it head on and enjoy it all and do what you do best.  Go forward, we’re great going forward.”

The winners of the 160 Preliminary Round ties will each scoop £1,925 in prize money this weekend.

Nicky Southall guided Whitstable Town to the Second Round of The FA Trophy last season, which scooped £17,450 in FA prize money.

“Last year Whitstable were very fortunate, they had a great run in The FA Trophy,” said Ward.

“I don’t know how much money they got.  The FA Cup is even more financially beneficial.  I’m not sure about the money, I don’t bother looking at all of that, it’s the chairman’s thing.”

When asked what he knows about Walton Casuals, Ward replied: “We know they’ve haven’t got many different players from last year and they set off like a train last year.

“We know as much as we need to know about them.  Our philosophy is to get ourselves right about what we need to know about them.

“We’ve got a few missing on Saturday, but it doesn’t matter. The lads that come in will do a job.”

Visit Whitstable Town’s website: www.whitstabletownfc.co.uk

Walton Casuals  v  Whitstable Town
The FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 30th August 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
At The Waterside Stadium, Waterside Drive, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey KT12 2JP