Folkestone begin search for new scout

Friday 18th August 2006

The new Ryman Premier League season kick’s off for Folkestone Invicta tomorrow when Harrow Borough visit the Buzzlines Stadium, writes Andy Bown & Tom Merchant -

After ten pre-season games in preparation for the start of the season, Invicta’s management, players and fans all eagerly await the start of their league campaign.

“Everybody wants a competitive game now!” said Invicta boss Neil Cugley.

“After going through all of the training and the friendly games, the players are really looking forward to the start of the season”.

Left back Paul Lamb misses the first three games of the season after being controversially sent off against Staines Town at the end of last season, whilst promising striker Rob Knott looks sets to take a place on the sidelines for the time being with a knee injury.

“We trained on Wednesday night and there were no bad reactions, only minor injuries but nothing that will keep anybody out of the squad,” revealed Cugley.

“Knotty though has got a lot of swelling around his knee and we’re waiting for it to go down. Then we will certainly be getting it properly looked at over the weekend”.

The Seasiders will be looking to get their season off to a bright start as after playing host to Harrow they begin a tough sequence of away matches, the first being a trip to Essex to face Billericay Town next Tuesday night.

Cugley explained the importance of picking up points early on, saying: “For me and the players it’s always nice to get that first win. If you can get an early win it seems to settle you down, otherwise you go into the next game possibly feeling a bit edgy.

“The lads are very determined though and they want to get off to a good start. The weather we have had down here recently has softened the pitch up and that’s one thing players like is a softer playing surface as no one likes hard, bumpy pitches. So come Saturday the pitch will be in good nick, we will have the new kit on and it will be off we go!”

Folkestone met Harrow on a number of occasions in cup competitions as well as in the League last season, with both teams again amongst the favourites to be relegated from the Premier Division.

Two goals from player-coach Mark Saunders saw Invicta come from behind to seal a 2-1 League victory towards the end of last season at Cheriton Road.

Cugley said: “We’ve come up against them a lot in the last few years obviously being in the same League, and in cup competitions and so we know about a few of their players and a few things about them as a side”.

“As with all home games it’s important to try and win them and this is a league in which you want to be doing that in. After that it’s a question of picking up as many points as you can away.

“But we need to be doing well at home to ensure we survive and push up the league, which I believe we are certainly capable of doing”.

Trialist Brian D’Arcy, is a forward who will be training with Invicta and playing in the reserves in a determined bid to improve his fitness to try and impress the Folkestone management.

Cugley remarked: “He is good mates with Lee Shearer and Matt Carruthers who both say he has a lot of ability, and he has played a lot of Sunday morning football over at Dover.

“He trained with us last night and he will train again with us next week and play in the reserves next Saturday.

“He’s done alright in the friendlies and obviously he has got ability but he needs to get himself fitter. If he does those things we’ve said we will have a good look at him. He’s determined and he wants to give it a go, so we will see”.

With regard to the Folkestone attack Cugley is hopeful his forwards will continue from where they left off at the end of last season, adding: “I think at the end of last year we starting to score more goals and obviously we want to see that continued into this season. We are strong defensively and we want to continue that as well – we hope we won’t give away too many goals.”

Folkestone start the season though without the services of Richard Langley who was the former Chief Scout at Cheriton Road.

Langley has taken up a position as reserve team manager at local neighbours Ashford Town. The Invicta manager explained: “Richard has left now and we are very disappointed that he has gone, as he done a lot of very good work for us.

“It’s not often you get people as keen as him and his job here was a non paid one and he used to travel travel all around and watch games, and he’d give us very good, comprehensive reports. We understand he has left to get more involved in the football side of things and we wish him all the best.”

Asked whether he would be looking to recruit the services of another scout Neil added: “It is something I have to resolve and I’m looking into replacing him but in a lot of ways it needs someone nearer to London, as all the travelling to watch games is around there.

“We can get someone to watch games around here but Richard was going to watch games all over the place and we really appreciated that. It is very hard to find someone else as willing to do that for us”.

Visit Folkestone Invicta’s website:

Folkestone Invicta v Harrow Borough
Ryman Premier League
Saturday 19th August 2006
Kick Off 3:00pm
At Buzzlines Stadium, Cheriton Road, Folkestone