Josh Vincent reaches Folkestone Invicta milestone: 500 games with one club shows a loyalty that you don’t see very often nowadays
FOLKESTONE INVICTA defender Josh Vincent is expected to make his 500th appearance for the club in their away game at Merstham on New Years’ Day.
The 29-year-old will become the fourth player to reach the milestone after current player-coach and holding midfielder Micheal Everitt (735 appearances and still counting), and centre-halves Liam Friend (546) and Frankie Chappell (501).
Chappell is playing for Isthmian Premier Division side Lewes, while Friend was released from his contract at Isthmian League South East Division side Ramsgate today.
The full-back or wing-back has also scored 37 goals for the Cheriton Road club.
Vincent’s first senior appearance was as a substitute replacing Lee Gledhill in a 2-0 league win at home against Corinthian-Casuals on Saturday 25 October 2008.
He then made his full debut in the next game during a 3-1 defeat at Cray Wanderers at Hayes Lane.
Vincent was the club’s Young Player of the Year in 2008-09 and he also scored in the 2009-10 Isthmian League Division One South Play-Off Final win over Godalming Town as well as a member of Neil Cugley’s Isthmian League Division One South championship winning team during the 2015-16 season.
Vincent was also granted a testimonial season in 2017-18.
“In my first season in the first team, we played Crowborough Athletic, beat them 8-2 and I scored two goals which were my first for the club,” Vincent told www.folkestoneinvictafc.co.uk.
“As with all the supporters, being local the 8-0 Boxing Day victory over Hythe Town is well up there, and again it may partly be because I scored a goal!”.
Reflecting on his achievements at the club, Vincent added: “It was great to win promotion, the first time we went up via the play-off’s beating Godalming Town and I got a goal in that too, and it was slightly unusual as I was playing wing-back one side and Burch (Josh Burchell) was on the other side and he crossed the ball in.”
He then mentioned the relief of winning promotion as champions rather than going up via the play-off lottery.
”The play-offs are a bit stressful with so much at stake and we’d lost a few in the past, so it was great to beat Walton & Hersham 6-0 to seal the league championship the last time we went up”.
Vincent added he wants to retain his place in the side and wants to notch as many goals as possible this season as Cugley’s men look to seal promotion into the Vanarama National League South for the first time.
“I want to keep playing as long as I can, I’m almost 30 now so I think I can go on for a while yet and who knows if I keep fit I might catch up with Micheal Everitt,” he said.
“I’ve seen a few full-backs come and go over the years and I’m still here!
“Looking more short-term, one of our supporters has offered me a bottle of champagne if I score nine goals this season, well I’m on five with half the season to go, so I’d like to think I’m in with a chance of winning that!!”
Manager Cugley said: “JV is the sort of player every manager wants, he is a reliable full-back and he has also filled in at centre-back when I’ve asked him to and he has also chipped in with some valuable goals. 500 games with one club shows a loyalty that you don’t see very often nowadays”.
Folkestone Invicta beat their Kent coast rivals Margate 4-0 at Cheriton Road on Boxing Day and travel to Merstham on the first day of January 2020 still sitting at the top of the Isthmian League Premier Division table with 44 points from their 21 league games.
Now at the half-way point of the league season, the four play-off places are currently occupied by Worthing (44 points), Horsham (40 points), Hornchurch (38 points but with two games in hand) and Carshalton Athletic (36 but with a game in hand).
Visit Folkestone Invicta’s website: www.folkestoneinvictafc.co.uk