Thursday 02nd June 2005

Ashford have high hopes for season

THE Chief Executive of Ryman League Division One club Ashford Town has announced details of the club's reserve and youth team structure for next season, writes Stephen McCartney.

As www.kentishfootball.co.uk revealed recently John Cumberbatch has been appointed joint-manager to work alongside Tim Thorogood, who is also the club's chairman.

However, for all those budding managers in Kent looking to cut their managerial teeth, there is a managerial vacancy at the club following the resignation of reserve team manager Mike Robbins.

"The club thanks Mike for his valuable contribution in rebuilding the reserve squad and understands the reasons why he cannot continue," Mark Jenner told the club's website.

"The club is committed to maintaining a strong reserve squad and will announce a replacement shortly.

"It is expected that a number of last year's players will feature in selection for next season's first team."

Elite Security, however, will continue as reserve team sponsors as well as sponsoring the Elite Bar at Ashford's Homelands' ground.

Despite a poor campaign last term the club will again support an under 18 team playing in the Mush Kent Youth League, which will be managed by Nigel Barlow.

"We are confident we'll produce a strong squad and improved results given greater support and the benefit of a sound start to the season and continuity of management which was not the case last time," added Jenner.

Ashford Self Storage will be the team's sponsor, for which the club are "extremely grateful for their generosity."

However, there will not be an under 16 team but instead Vince Shell will retain his team from last season and compete at the under 15 level this time out.

Games will be played on Sunday's at The Homelands.

"It is hoped that this promising and well managed squad can be kept together and progress through the age groups in future years," hoped Jenne.

A new under 14 squad is being formed, which will continue to play at Tech Pro and their manager will be announced shortly.

Back to first team action, the club have confirmed five pre-season friendlies and hope to arrange a game with Kent Senior Cup holders, and last season's tenants, Margate.

They face Herne Bay (away, 23rd July), Bromley (home, 30th July), Hythe Town (away, 2nd August), Folkestone Invicta (home, 4th August) and a trip to Ashford Town, Middlesex on 6th August.