Saturday 11th June 2005

Please credit article to Stephen McCartney - www.kentishfootball.co.uk

Bromley have the Courage to push for success

BROMLEY chairman Jerry Dolke is delighted to announce the newly promoted Ryman Premier League club have secured a two-year sponsorship deal with Scottish Courage, writes Stephen McCartney.

The brewers replace local company Clive Christian as stadium sponsors whilst RSR Tyers and Wheels embark their second season as the club's main sponsors.

The club's Hayes Lane ground will now be known as The Courage Stadium.

Dolke, who played for the club in the late 80's, has changed the club's fortunes since taking over in 2002, and fans can now see positive signs with ground improvements at their Hayes Lane ground - opened in 1938 - taking place.

Speaking about the sponsorship deal with Courage, he said: "They are taking over from Clive Christian on a two-year deal and at the end of the two years it will be reviewed."

And on the ground improvements, he told www.kentishfootball.co.uk: "We've just got the Football Foundation grant of £28,000 towards the £49,750.

"There has been issues with the pitch where there were low levels and the pitch has been relevelled and new drainage has been put in place.

"We've also put an irrigation system in, which has been a big job, but is vital for it's development and was a criteria from the Football Foundation on how we maintain the pitch."

Work is currently underway, taking under a year,  to build a new two-story building at the back of the main stand and on top of the current dressing rooms, replacing the temporary clubhouse and boardroom at the ground.

A function room, which will hold 300 people, will include a new club shop, women's changing room, first aid centre, medical room for players, laundry room ,disabled toilet, kitchen, with a lift to reach both floors.

Dolke also revealed the club are appealing against the council's decision not to grant permission for the club to build artificial five-a-side pitches at the ground - which he feels will benefit the local community.

"It's a facility lacking in the borough, he said.  "That facility will be there for everybody, men, women of all ages and the under privileged.  You name it, it's what the community desperately needs."

And with the club's joint manager, George Wakeling, saying this week that the club are "definitely not ruling out promotion" next season, in their first season back in the Ryman Premier League since their relegation from that division in 1999, Dolke is backing Wakeling and fellow manager, Billy Smith.

Wakeling, who took over from former boss Stuart McIntyre last December, with Smith joining from Carshalton Athletic about a month later, saw their charges remain unbeaten in their final eleven games and secured promotion via the play-off's, comfortably defeating Horsham 3-1 in the final at Queen Street last month.

"With George and Billy we've seen what they've done in the past and in the short time (they've been at Bromley) and I can't see why the club can't have a strong push.

"I think we will really be pushing and I would like to see the football club have a very strong season - and I know we can."