Thursday 18th August 2005

Fisher start campaign as favourites


Fisher Athletic begin their first campaign as a Ryman League Premier Division club on Saturday knowing that they are amongst the bookmakers’ favourites for promotion, reports www.nonleaguedaily.com

Fisher were switched across to the Ryman after winning the Southern League Division One East title last season and player-manager Wayne Burnett, who already possessed a formidable-looking squad, has strengthened even further in the summer.

Early summer signings included former Brighton goalkeeper Will Packham, who spent time on loan with the Fish from Worthing in 2004/05, experienced defender Francis Duku from Nationwide South side Lewes and midfielders Ben Walshe from St Albans City and Warren Ryan from Waltham Forest.

Another interesting recruit is that of 21-year-old midfielder Charley Hearn who, if he can reproduce the form he showed a couple of seasons ago, will be a terrific signing for the South London outfit.

Ashford-born, Hearn came through the ranks at Millwall and made his senior debut against Walsall in September 2001 at the age of 17.

He was selected by The Sun ‘newspaper’ in January 2000 as one of their promising young sportsmen/women for the new Millennium.

However, a hernia injury restricted his senior appearances for the Lions and in December 2004 he went out on loan to Northampton Town where he made 28 appearances, scoring once.

At the end of the 2004/05 season he became one of many to be released by Millwall and decided to stay local and join Fisher

Latest to join Fisher are Gravesend & Northfleet duo of goalkeeper James Pullen and defender Matt Lovell, who is now in his second spell with the club .

Pullen, who was born in Chelmsford, has played for Heybridge Swifts, Ipswich and Peterborough, with additional loan spells at Blackpool and Dagenham & Redbridge before joining the Fleet last November.

Lovell is a former Arsenal junior, having been signed by the club at the age of 15. He spent several years at Highbury but was released and signed briefly for Bristol City before joining Fisher Athletic.

Several good performances brought him to the attention of ‘Fleet boss Andy Ford who signed him on a non-contract basis in March 2004 before earning a two-year contract.

However, some Fisher fans may be scratching their heads trying to find a Matt Lovell as having played for them before. But he changed his name from 'Rouse' to 'Lovell' by deed poll in September 2004!

Fisher Athletic v Redbridge
Ryman League Premier Division
Saturday 20th August 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Dulwich Hamlet FC, Champion Hill Stadium, Edgar Kail Way,
East Dulwich, London SE22