Wednesday 01st June 2005

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man turns down move to Newcastle

RAMSGATE boss Jim Ward is currently speaking to "four or five" players as they prepare for life in the Ryman League next season, writes Stephen McCartney.

However, the Scot is keeping his cards close to his chest but one thing is for sure goalkeeper Danny Twyman has signed a two-year contract to stay with the Southwood Stadium outfit.

And Ward was delighted his number one has decided to stay in the area after contemplating a move to Newcastle due to work commitments.

"Danny Tywman was the best goalkeeper in the Kent League last year and he will be the best goalkeeper in the Ryman League next year," predicted Ward.

"The only reason I did look for another goalkeeper was because Danny was going to move to Newcastle for work but Newcastle's loss is Ramsgate's gain."

And Ward insists pre-season training will be "Interesting" as he bolsters his squad from 16 to a figure that will be needed to make the step up to the first division of the Ryman League.

"Pre-season will be very interesting as all the players from last year will be given their opportunity and also the new lads will come and give it a go.

"At the end of the season I only had 16 players, so I'll certainly need 20." revealed Ward, who was sitting on a beach in California during this interview.

Meanwhile, after fifteen years of managing youth teams, ranging from under 9's to under 18's, John Vahid has confirmed he is looking forward to focusing on his expanded non-coaching role at the club.

"Season 2004-2005 was my last season of coaching, having seen the current under 18's through to their last season in the Kent Youth League, with the knowledge that a number of those players have been involved with the first team and regularly play for the reserves.

"These coming years, the reserves will certainly be a lot stronger with the likes of these players who have come through the under 16-18s in the last few years," he added.

John Vahid came to Ramsgate as part of the former Westgate Sports when they joined to form the club's junior section, where he ran a youth team from under 9's through to under 12's.

As manager of a Ramsgate youth team from under 13s to under 16s, he guided the boys to two East Kent Youth League titles, as well as several runners-up slots.

He was also assistant manager for the club's under 18s side that did the double in the 1998-99 campaign, winning the MUSH Kent Youth League as well as the County Youth Cup, and were runners-up in the County Cup again a year later.

A brief spell as Ramsgate's Youth Liaison Officer followed, until he was asked to take over the running of the current under 18s some three years ago, when the then under 15s manager left.

Vahid has also taken the role of Stadium Manager in recent years and has provided invaluable support to the Management Committee helping to coordinate works and arranging stewards at the club's Southwood Stadium.

However, this role is now set to expand, as greater emphasis is required on crowd management and safety matters as the club moves into the Ryman League. 

Rams' chairman Richard Lawson, whose financial clout has helped the club achieve promotion after securing a Kent League and Cup double, said: "I would like to thank John for all his hard work he has put in at the club during the last 15 years.

"He has played an important role at the club and we are pleased he will still continue be involved with the club in a non-coaching role for the forthcoming Ryman League campaign."

Vahid added: "I will now have more time to devote to the club as Safety Officer and Stadium Manager with the new challenge that lies ahead for the club this coming season."