Wednesday 06th July 2005

New coaches impressed with Sevenoaks

The two new coaches at Kentish Observer League side Sevenoaks Town are relishing the opportunity working at Greatness Park, writes Stephen McCartney.

First team manager Gary Davies has appointed former Erith Town and Thamesmead Town man John Adams and coach Brian Meaney.

Meaney admits he never played at a high standard of football but after seeing one of his coaching sessions last night - and taking part for the first 15 minutes myself - he will be a good asset for the club.

"I've been coaching since the age of 18," he told www.kentishfootball.co.uk in an EXCLUSIVE interview.

"I've got my UEFA B license and also worked for Charlton Athletic on their community schemes doing some advanced coaching with them.

"I've been coaching schools football for the last seven years and got quite a lot of success there."

The Hildenborough resident has also coached county and youth football.

So why did he decide to join Sevenoaks Town - who are preparing for their third season in the Kent League.

"I was looking to get back into semi-pro coaching because I had a bad injury," he said.

"I snapped by patella tendon last summer so I can't really play anymore but I wanted to get the buzz.

"I couldn't get that coaching in the Sevenoaks League, even though I really enjoyed it, so I got the phone call saying do you want to come down to Sevenoaks from a friend of mine."

Meaney is impressed with the set up at Greatness Park.

"It's a good set up, well organised in terms of the direction the club wants to go," he said.

"I think Gary (Davies) knows where he wants to go and where he wants to end up and I think we are pushing down that direction ourselves in terms of coaching."

However, Sevenoaks will be amongst the lowest payers in the division this season, but Meaney is installing togetherness into the squad at an early stage.

"I think team spirit is crucial," he said.  "At the end of the day you could have all the players in the world on all sorts of money but if you have a team that want to work for eachother, and yourself, and all the guys are fit and enjoying their football and coaching, they'll want to put it on the park on a Saturday - that's what we are going to get here at Sevenoaks."

The 32-year-old added: "We are not saying we haven't got the best players in the entire league but we will have the best units in the league, organised, and put the strong teams like Maidstone and Herne Bay to the test and try and stop them from playing.

"We will play to our strengths as well and nick a few results against the top teams and do better against teams not as strong."

The club has lined up pre-season games against Rusthall (a) 16th July), Tonbridge Angels (h) 23rd July), Lewes (h) 25th July, Crockenhill (a) 30th July), Bromley (h) 2nd August and Snodland (a) 6th August.

And Meaney believes the pre-season period is important.

"Pre-season games are very important," he admitted.  "We will try some things out with the lads and see what fits best."

And with two youth sides playing in the Kent Youth League and a reserve side, Meaney admits its important to have these teams feel apart of the club.

"If we've got players injured, these players can come in.  We can look at the reserves and bring them through.

"We don't want to turn a blind eye on the reserves, we want to work this as a football club and not just two teams separately.

"We've got the youngsters as well and we'll maybe do some coaching for them."

John Adams, however, needs no introduction after his stints with Thamesmead Town and Erith Town.

And he is looking forward to the new challenge at Greatness Park.

Adams is also looking to find an uncut diamond or two in pre-season training.

"I always think every year certain players turn up and bring mates and it looks like we've got five good ones down here," he said.

"And they turn up, they train hard and look the part so with a club like Sevenoaks, which you aren't going out to get big money players, but you can get these young kids.

"Gary (Hunt), the reserve team manager has come from Welling and has brought the Welling reserves but most of those reserves I had at Erith Town.

"So we know them and there are some good youngsters amongst them."

With Sevenoaks finishing their first two seasons back in the Kent League in eleventh place, Adams feels these youngsters will hold their own in the division this season.

"I think its going to be a young squad and sometimes I believe youngsters can survive - they will have their ups and downs but youngsters will survive.

"The training is excellent and I think we will be fit - we won't have the class but we will be fit.

"If we can be disciplined then the young advantage could be to our favour."

Adams, however, is impressed with the set up at Greatness Park, adding: "Its a good young club, well organised, a nice little set up and that's what impressed me."