For the integrity of the sport and for the competitions that we have all sacrificed for this season, at all levels, the season must be completed, says Herne Bay boss Ben Smith

Monday 23rd March 2020

Ben Smith, the manager of Isthmian League South East Division side Herne Bay, has issued the following statement.


“It’s officially been over a week now that we have not had any football at the club.

Last Tuesday night we were preparing for Ashford United with full confidence going into a massive game, now we’re wondering/guessing when the fixture will actually be played.

To make it very clear, everybody’s health is more important than any club/game/competition. However, as competitors we will all have an opinion of what will happen with sport in general, especially with all the additional time on our hands!

The million pound question of what will happen to the season? For me, it is absolutely imperative that the leagues are concluded with their original design, If that takes us into October then so be it. Then it would be a case of scrapping next seasons cup competitions and playing more midweek games.

For the integrity of the sport and for the competitions that we have all sacrificed for this season, at all levels, the season must be completed.

There are clubs out there pushing for null and void, laughable in some cases as they cut their budgets in December!! Some good signs this week with the Euros have been postponed so that the domestic seasons can finish and EFL and Premier league both commenting that they are planning to complete the campaigns, it seems that this will drip feed down.

Whilst this is a testing time for all, I have asked the players to keep in mind the sacrifices and efforts that we have all (literally everyone that has been associated with the club) made to put this club in a position where we could be promoted (however big or small our chances of this are) and to keep fitness levels up wherever, safely, possible which I know some have already started doing.

Some other clubs have a slight leg up on us here with GPS Tracking vests, they can monitor fitness levels with greater accuracy etc, but we have a very dedicated group of players so we can trust that they will think of the bigger picture. These will be shared with you on the loyal fan page throughout the isolation period.

Having been down the club earlier in the week it certainly fills me with pride seeing the condition of the facilities, headed up by Barry Tracy as ground manager and not forgetting all of the volunteer work that has gone on throughout the season we’re in a really good place with the ground.

Many will be aware that we have wider plans to open up other areas of the ground to increase revenue and make it more supporter friendly, these ideas may have to be delayed - time will tell.

In the meantime I’m sure Barry will put your some jobs that need doing to maintain things down at the ground, anyone that is safe to do so please feel free to help out - whilst maintaining distances etc.

Again, health must be put before anything so don’t do anything that puts you or someone else at risk!

Finally, our football club has been steadily growing this season - both in terms of sponsors and supporters, please check up on each other particularly those categorised as ‘vulnerable’- having called a few earlier this week it was great to hear that someone beat me to it and helped with shopping etc.

It’s very much true that we need our sponsors but this goes both ways; it will be a tough time for them so in the coming months please use these guys before trying elsewhere.

Any ideas to help move the club forward particularly on financial and supporter growth please feel free to share.”