Thursday 02nd June 2005

If using this article on a website or match day programme please credit to:
Stephen McCartney - www.kentishfootball.co.uk

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if you would like to publish this article in a newspaper

Going back to basics

FORMER Sevenoaks Town manager John James is relishing the chance to go back to grass roots football after being appointed manager of British Energy Kent County League side Chipstead, writes Stephen McCartney.

The 45-year-old, who lives locally in Halstead, resigned a day after Sevenoaks crashed to a 3-1 defeat at Slade Green at the end of January, disillusioned with the game but he is now back with all guns blazing.

And James is on the verge of signing many players from his old club who want to get back to playing the game and not for financial gain.

"Some local Sevenoaks' lads have shown an interest in going to another club," revealed James.

"I've been talked into going to Chipstead.  I was a bit disillusioned with the money in the Kent League.

"Basically money states how high you finish - the most money wins the league most of the time and I felt I wanted to get back to football with the local Sevenoaks' lads.

"There were three or four that were in the first team that weren't on major money but played against players that were paid big money, in their eyes."

Going to a club that finished second from bottom in division two east of the British Energy Kent County League, James is looking to build a team once again.

"It's all to build really and get a happy ship again and I'm hoping to have a strong squad of players."

James, however, admitted Sevenoaks Town will struggle in the Kent League next season as they are competing against clubs that have bigger playing budgets.

"You were never going to win in that situation unless you have major financial backing," he said.

"Sevenoaks have no financial clout and will always be below halfway in the Kent League unless fortunes financially help them.

"The Kent League, however, is lovely to play in but it's all down to finance and money."

Meanwhile, Julian Leigh, who worked under James at Greatness Park, and was appointed joint-manager with Gary Davies following James' resignation, has left the club and will run Tonbridge Angels' reserve side in the Suburban League.

And Clive Edwards', who was Sevenoaks' reserve team manager last season, has gone to another British Energy Kent County League club, Westerham.

Sevenoaks Town, however, are currently in negotiations with several clubs regarding pre-season friendlies but manager Gary Davies' has used his wealth of contacts to pull in Nationwide Conference South outfit Lewes and Ryman League Division One neighbours Tonbridge Angels to Greatness Park.

The Angels visit on Saturday 23rd July before Steve King's Lewes side visit on Monday 25th July.

Sevenoaks travel to Crockenhill (Saturday 30th July) and Snodland (Saturday 6th August).

And Ryman League second division side Croydon come to Greatness Park on Thursday 4th August.

The newly formed Sevenoaks Town under 16 team are also looking for players to play in the MUSH Kent Youth League next season.  Any boys who are interested in playing at this level should contact manager Mike Marsh on 01322 862 445 or 07780 662 543.