Joe Nelder leaves Herne Bay for Canterbury City: I’ve tried in the past but he’s shown amazing loyalty to Herne Bay

Wednesday 31st May 2017

CANTERBURY CITY manager Ben Smith has unveiled the arrivals of three former Herne Bay players.


Canterbury City play one level below Herne Bay and finished their last season at Ashford in ninth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table and will be playing their home games at Deal Town’s Charles Sports Ground next season.

Smith has persuaded midfielder Connor Sanders to sign for the club, having left Isthmian League Division One South side Carshalton Athletic.

Sanders made his first team debut for Herne Bay against Guernsey in August 2013 and made 142 appearances for the club, scoring 13 goals before opting to leave the club to play for Peter Adeniyi.

“I worked with Connor when he made his Ryman breakthrough a few years ago now and he just seems to get better and better,” Smith told the clubs website.

“To come out of Sunday football and become a real sought after player in the Ryman is a testament to how he has developed and we are getting a serious player at a very good age.

Sanders added: “I’ve had some good offers, which I’m thankful for but the ambitions here at City just made it a no brainer really.

“I know it’s already a good side so I’m keen to get going and help to improve and challenge in this league.

Defender Gary Sayer, has also signed, having made 192 appearances for Herne Bay after joining them from Whitstable Town.

Smith said: “I’ve been a massive fan of Gary since playing with him at Whitstable Town. He’s very calm on the ball and reads the game exceptionally well.

“He won’t mind me saying that he won’t grab the headlines in games but the levels of consistency he brings make him a quality addition to the group that we have and he will bring out the best in others in the squad.

Versatile Joe Nelder has also swapped Herne Bay for Canterbury City next season.

Nelder made 224 first team appearances for Herne Bay after progressing via the club’s youth team and scored 26 goals.

“I’m delighted to finally make Joe a City player,” said Smith.

“I’ve tried in the past but he’s shown amazing loyalty to Herne Bay.  He’s one of the most naturally gifted players in the area and has shown his versatility over many games at Ryman level playing numerous positions.

“We get Joe at a very good age where he should come into his peak, so we’ll be looking to settle his position down and give him the platform to perform to his best.”

Meanwhile, fourth-placed finishers and London Senior Cup winners Cray Valley have announced that nine players have agreed deals to re-sign for the club next season.

Jordan Carey, Alistair Gordon, Ashley Sains, Joe Matthews, Danny Smith, Laurence Collins, Jamie Miller, Taylor McDonagh and Jason Thompson are staying put.

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