Wednesday 15th June 2005

Myall pledges his future to Invicta

FOLKESTONE INVICTA manager Neil Cugley is delighted midfielder Stuart Myall has pledged his future to his Ryman Premier League club, writes Stephen McCartney.

The 31-year-old, joined the club from Nationwide Conference South club Eastbourne Borough in March, having also played for Sussex County League side Ringmer last season.

Starting his career with Brighton & Hove Albion, he joined Hastings Town in 1998, following his release from Brentford.

He joined Eastbourne Borough from Hastings during the 2003-04 season and can also play in defence and Cugley admits he has high hopes for the player.

"He gave us a bit of quality in midfield," he said of the signing in an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk this morning.

"We've got a bit of enthusiasm in midfield and he gives us that something more that we desperately needed.

"I think he will be a very popular with the fans as well - because his skill levels are so high and he made us play better when he joined the club."

Cugley insists no-one will be leaving the club despite speculation about his best players and with Paul Jones (striker) and Matt Bower (midfielder) joining the club from neighbours Ashford Town in the close season, he will be giving the club's youngsters a chance to break through into the first team squad during their nine pre-season friendlies, as Cugley operates with 15 first team players.

Cugley added: "Nobody's leaving, they're all pulling together. 

"I'm obviously delighted that other clubs are interested in my players as it shows that we are moving in the right direction.

"Like any club, if a large offer was made we would look at it, but we don't want to sell our players.

"At the moment, financially, we wouldn't say we were well off, but we are sound - there's no reason to sell anyone."

Cugley's side return to pre-season training in the first week of July and by that time the club would have made an announcement on their new sponsor.

And despite finishing a difficult, debut Ryman Premier League campaign in fourteenth place, Cugley admits the league will be much more stronger this time round.

"Obviously we'd like to improve on that but the league will be stronger next year," he warned.

"There's some quality sides coming up and coming down from the Conference South so I think it will be a harder league - even more reason to keep your better players."

And, once again, there will be an expectancy on Invicta's 25-year-old striker, James Dryden to knock in the goals, having netted 29 last term.

"I still think there's more to come from him and other players," Cugley said.

Cugley, however, defended his decision to arrange nine pre-season friendlies and explained the reasons why the club play that number every summer.

"We always have that number," he said.  "It's over a long period, the first one (at home to Gravesend & Northfleet) is on the 16th July.

"I think it's very important.  I like to get the players accustomed to playing Saturday and midweek. 

"I think at non-league level your body gets used to playing Saturday and midweek and training once.

"And to be fair, we've always started the season well."

Invicta will be playing their home midweek games on Monday night's as they try to prise "armchair" fans away from their television set to the Cheriton Road terraces instead.

"We changed to Monday night's because of so many European games and we think it's worth trying that.  You have to try something and if it doesn't work at least you can say, we've tried it."