We need to better what we did last season, that's a must, says Fisher boss Ajay Ashanike

Thursday 28th July 2022

FISHER manager Ajay Ashanike says he is concentrating on improving results at St Pauls Stadium this season.

The Rotherhithe-based outfit finished in thirteenth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division last season and kick-off their campaign with a home clash against relegated side Whitstable Town on Saturday.

The Oystermen are now managed by Richard Styles, who along with his assistant manager Dan Morrin left Tunbridge Wells in May and several players have followed them to Belmont Road, and go into the game with a positive atmosphere in their ranks.

“Saturday’s game will not be easy, that I know 100%.  As far as I know, Whitstable Town are one of the teams tipped to win the league and a team we know little about,” said Ashanike.

“Yes, we know the gaffer but the system and players would have changed a bit from his time at Tunbridge Wells.

“My full focus is what we do and not who we are playing this season.

“Last season’s thirteenth place was one I wasn’t too proud off, if I’m honest, due to the fact of the boys we have at the club.”

Ashanike, the former Tower Hamlets manager, has gained a reputation of unleashing raw talent and letting them express themselves in the ninth-tier of English football and several of these talents have departed for higher league clubs this summer.

“This summer’s transfers must have showed everyone what top players we had with the move some of the players have made,” said Ashanike.

“We lost Isaac Thompson to Chatham, Vincent Follea to Coggeshall, Temiloluwa Oladejo to Brightlingsea, Pedro De Brito Moco to Tooting & Mitcham and a couple more.

“We had a few transfer targets such as Darnell Bromfield from Redbridge, Samuel Amedu from Newcastle Town, Joshua Montella from Peckham Town, Connor Darwish from Millwall’s under 18s and also Oseman Usifoh, who I worked with in the past, to fill the gaps the outgoing left.”

When asked about his aspirations for the season ahead, Ashanike replied: “This season my main focus is ourselves. Firstly, we need to better what we did last season, that’s a must, and we’ll take each game as it comes.

“We know where we went wrong last season and I’m sure we have done the right adjustment to make sure we don’t repeat the habits that we had last season.

“The league will be fully open this season.  Having seen some results in pre-season and also some of the transfers some have made, I’m sure we will have ups and downs all over the season.”

Having lost goalkeeper Tommy Taylor to league rivals Rusthall this summer, Ashanike is delighted with the competition for places in that position of the field.

“The loss of Tommy Taylor was one I felt really bad about but to bring in the level of Sam Amedu and Justice Owusu in goal was amazing. Both are top keepers with Step Four experience and at the right age and height.

“Sam was at Leyton Orient at youth level and played under me at Tower Hamlets.”

The Fisher boss added: “I believe the best deal we did was to keep hold of Joseph Adewunmi and Darnelle Bailey-King at the club.  Both players were outstanding last season and I’m expecting nothing but a big season from both of them.

“Luke Thomas and Sam Fitzgerald are the most experienced players at this level in our club and are great leaders in their right. 

“I’m really looking forward to what the season has in store for us and we are ready to go.”

Meanwhile, Cedric Nganga, Julio Da Mata and Malaki Coker are available for selection on Saturday after missing a lot of games last season.

Fisher  v  Whitstable Town
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 30 July 2022
Kick Off 3:00pm
At St Pauls Stadium, Salter Road, Rotherhithe, London SE16 5EF