We’ve literally not paused for breath this week but considering the circumstances, we are as ready as we could possibly be, says Kent Football United boss Danny Wakeling

Friday 16th November 2018

KENT FOOTBALL UNITED manager Danny Wakeling says he’s faced an incredibly hectic week ahead of his first game in charge of the club tomorrow.

The Dartford based club are in the bottom three in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table, with a playing record of two wins and two draws from their 15 league outings.

Ennio Gonnella took charge of his final game in charge, losing 3-2 at Lewisham Borough last weekend.

Wakeling, 43, took charge of Bromley based amateur club Old Bromleians during the summer of 2016 after the club finished at the bottom of the Kent County League Division Two West table and escaped the drop to the bottom tier of senior non-league football courtesy of a reprieve.

Wakeling celebrated winning back-to-back league titles and left Bromleians sitting at the top of the Kent County League Premier Division at the time of his departure at the end of September 2018.

Wakeling won 43 of his 54 league games in charge of the club, drawing five and losing six, including doing the double over Long Lane in his first season in charge but those results were wiped off the league table after that club withdraw from the League.

He was in charge of 64 games in total and smashed the clubs record win when Stansfield were beaten 15-1 earlier on in the season.

Wakeling takes charge of the Dartford based club for the first time when his former club FC Elmstead visit Lowfield Street tomorrow.

Marc Bentz’s side are in tenth-place in the table with 18 points on the board from 12 games.

“Firstly I’d like to congratulate Ennio on his two high place finishes in recent seasons,” said Wakeling.

“I feel its correct to respectfully note those achievements in all fairness and although I’ve never met the man I’d like to personally wish him all the best in the future.

“Obviously, this opportunity came out of the blue so to speak and both the club and myself had to move very quickly.

“This week has been incredibly hectic but it is what it is and no matter what the situation is, we must crack on and confront the challenge head on.

“We’ve literally not paused for breath this week but considering the circumstances, we are as ready as we could possibly be for ourselves for this weekend’s game versus FC Elmstead.

“Obviously, I know a fair amount of the lads and people involved with FC Elmstead and I look forward to catching up with those that I know but we’ve grafted so hard this week to make sure we are as stable as possible for the weekend that we’ve not even had time to pause for thought and consider our opponents and I mean that with the greatest respect.

“The biggest challenge this week was making sure we were stable and ready to play a game this weekend. I’m looking forward to it and the challenge ahead and to be honest it’s just a character building experience this week and I’m glad that the entire management team and chairman have pulled it together this week.

“At the end of the day the game is about players and although we expect to be raw for a while we are all looking forward to getting behind the lads in the coming weeks.”

Reflecting on his successful time at Bromleians, Wakeling said: “I had a great time there with the football. Everyone knows the club had really lost its way for a very long time and it was basically left to a couple of people who carried the load of the entire senior section on their own backs (John Cooper and Phil Bartlett in the main) for a few years to keep the doors open and keep the club going at senior level.

“The transformation at the club has been superb and after a brilliant turn around and the success that naturally seemed to follow, there are now a few more people more inclined to help run the club.

“Other than the obvious back to back titles for the first team and cup wins, promotions and fair play achievements across the entire senior section which has all moved upwards over the last two seasons, the record home and away victories,  I’d say not ever losing back-to-back games with some truly remarkable and very talented players is a highlight and indicative of the players desire and environment created.

"But the proudest moment I’d actually say is suggesting something that should well last forever and that’s seeing the ground named after a man I (and many, many others too I must add) have huge admiration for that is the ultimate gentleman, Mr John Cooper, having the home Ground named in his honour.”

Kent Football United  v  FC Elmstead
Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Saturday 17 November 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Glentworth Club, 154 Lowfield Street, Dartford, Kent DA1 1JB