Thursday 16th September 2004
www.yourcounty.co.uk - The Kent Website - Supporting Kentish Football

Dockers fighting fit for FA Cup clash

GO TRAVEL Kent League side Erith Town have been put through their paces ahead of Saturday's FA Cup First Qualifying Round trip to Sussex County League side Ringmer, writes Stephen McCartney.

With £2,250 up for grabs for the winners at this stage of the competition, Dockers' manager Willie O'Sullivan has been working his squad hard, to make sure the healthy pay cheque gets posted to his club.

The manager, who saw his side go down 3-0 at Whitstable Town last weekend, has revealed why he has snapped up striker Steve Shippey from Kent League rivals Beckenham Town, and tied down his skipper to a more secure future.

He said: "We have made two notable signings, striker Steve Shippey has been signed from Beckenham Town to increase competition for the striking positions and captain Paul Springett has signed a one-year contract with the club.

"We have spent a lot of time fending off weekly speculation that he was leaving for another club.

"We felt that he has a lot to learn, before he progresses to a higher level that his undoubted ability deserves and that too much time was being taken up with the speculation."

O'Sullivan, however, has made full use of the club's facilities at the Erith Sports Stadium, to prepare for Saturday's FA Cup clash. 

"We have trained twice this week.  On Monday we spent the evening working on the athletics track, where the attitude and commitment to the work was tremendous.

"Thursday was split with a half hour session talking through the goals we have conceded this season.

"Ninety percent of them are down to ourselves through poor decision making and a lack of concentration.  If we put this right we will give every one a game." he said.

"We are lucky enough to have outstanding facilities not only the stadium and pitch, but the local sports centre where we have a large gym," he revealed.

"The first team squad trained on the pitch working on phases of the game defending and attacking with the reserves at the gym.

"It makes training nights worth while, hence the full weekly attendances."

Ringmer vs Erith Town
FA Cup - First Qualifying Round
Saturday 18 September 2004
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Caburn Ground, Anchor Field, Ringmer