Sunday 21st August 2005

Jenkins will keep his 23-man squad happy


Cray Wanderers may be top of the Ryman League division one table - but that counts for nothing after only one game insists manager Ian Jenkins, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Wands got their league campaign off to a good start by winning 3-0 at new boys Lymington & New Milton yesterday.

But it took most of their players a while to click into gear as traffic delays on the motorway meant they got to the ground with only 20 minutes before kick off.

But goals from Jamie Kempster (30), fit-again Leigh Bremner (39) and veteran Gary Abbott (68) sent them to the top of the table and they will be looking to stay there when Metropolitan Police visit on Tuesday night.

In an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk today, Jenkins was full or praise for the former Herne Bay striker, who attracted interest from Chatham Town and Dover Athletic last season after an impressive debut season for Cray.

"Brems was the highlight for me to be honest," he said.  "We didn't get to the ground until twenty to three but he seemed to be on the ball, because the majority of the players were still stiff from the coach journey."

Jenkins, however, was pleased with the performances of his two debutants, left-back Danny Harris, a youngster signed from Gravesend & Northfleet, and centre-half Terry Khan, whose made the switch from Fisher Athletic.

"A good consistent performance from all round," admitted the long serving stalwart.

Jenkins' side lock horns with Metropolitan Police at The Courage Stadium, Hayes Lane on Tuesday night.

Cray completed the double over the Blues last season, winning 2-1 at Imber Court last October and winning 4-1 at Hayes Lane in March.

Both sides, however, went on to reach the play-off's, with Cray losing 3-1 at Horsham and the Police losing 4-3 on penalties, after a tense 1-1 draw after extra time, to Cray's landlords, Bromley at Hayes Lane.

Burly striker, Richard Dimmock has been drafted into the squad, having signed last week after returning from Australia.

Jenkins has the luxury of a 23-man squad at his disposal, which is more than higher league clubs like Welling United (17) and Margate (which, currently stands at 14, with more expected to sign for the Thanet club).

The Sidcup based boss admitted he will keep all his players happy, and field them in many of their cup games.   He revealed he'll give some a run out in their FA Cup preliminary round tie at Steyning Town next Saturday.

Experienced defenders, Ian Rawlings (hamstring) and David Gray (3-match suspension) will soon be available for selection.

"It's always good to have (a big squad).  I will be using them all," said Jenkins.  "I want to keep them at the club.

"At the moment its not hard (to keep them happy) as we've only played one competitive game. I've got loads of cup games so we can give them run-outs in Kent Senior Cup ties and we've got an FA Cup tie against a lower side, so we can mix it up a bit.

"We have lost a couple of players this year, but I get phone calls everyday from players who want to join us.

"I think we are a good club and we do everything right.  We've got good facilities, have good banter and are a friendly club and we are winners at the end of the day.  Everyone wants to be involved with a successful club."

Cray Wanderers v Metropolitan Police
Ryman League Division One
Tuesday 23rd August 2005
Kick Off 7:45pm
at The Courage Stadium, Hayes Lane, Bromley