New lights to shine on Southwood Stadium "within six weeks" - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Sunday 23rd July 2006

Ramsgate chairman Richard Lawson has revealed new floodlights will be installed at Southwood Stadium “within the next six weeks,” writes Stephen McCartney.

The Rams have won the Kent League and Ryman League Division One championships in two successful campaigns and are looking forward to life in the Ryman Premier League.

They kick off their campaign against Heybridge Swifts at Southwood Stadium on 19th August, before a trip to AFC Wimbledon - the side that ended their FA Trophy hopes in a replay last season - follows on Tuesday, 22nd August.

The club will install six towers, each with three bulbs, costing £45,000, with the club having to fork out £15,000 with the remainder coming from grants.

And Mr Lawson has high hopes for the new campaign.

In an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with he said: “Jim and Danny (Ward) have worked hard in the pre-season to get the squad right and I think now this is the strongest squad that we’ve had at Ramsgate Football Club for 30 years.”

This time last year the club insisted they’ll be aiming for the top six. However, as we know, they went on to win the Ryman League Division One title on goal difference, with Horsham finishing as runners-up.

This time, you’d expect the Thanet club to consolidate their position in the higher league. But knowing Ramsgate as we do, nothing ever phases this club and their message is “bring it on!”.

“We said last year we look to consolidate, not disgrace ourselves. We moved on and kept going last year and won the league,” recalled Mr Lawson.

“I had a chat with Keith Piper from Margate a couple of weeks ago and he said when they started going through the leagues the momentum that they built up kept them going.

“He made the observation that perhaps we’ve got that momentum, so who knows?”

Mr Lawson, meanwhile, wants crowds of 400 to watch his club in action.

He said: “It will be a good test for the boys so yes we’re looking forward to it. Our start couldn’t be more difficult but we’d like to be getting 400 each week. If we’d do that we’ll be getting along fine.”

Mr Lawson, meanwhile, cannot wait for the much-anticipated “Battle of Thanet” clash against Margate on Boxing Day, where a crowd of at least 2,000 is expected at Southwood Stadium.

Ramsgate’s pre-season campaign continues on Tuesday night, when their former Kent League rivals Deal Town visit Southwood Stadium, 7:45pm.