No one wants to see Crockenhill go out of business, says manager Craig Clark

Sunday 26th January 2014
CROCKENHILL manager Craig Clark says his veteran players will keep the club going until the end of the season.

The Crocks are enduring a miserable campaign as they have lost all of their eighteen games this season, leaking 109 goals in the process.

They went down to a 5-0 defeat away to their neighbours Orpington at Green Court Road yesterday, where O’s skipper Glenn Brewer scored a second half hat-trick.

Clark said: “I can’t knock them, how they try every week, whoever I put on the pitch, they try.  I can’t knock the players.  I’m proud of them.  People will look at it and say how can you turn round and say you’re proud of the players after losing 5-0?

“But the players I’m putting out there are committed to the club.  They do it week in, week out, no matter what the score is, they’ll be there next week and they’ll go out there and they’ll try their hardest.

“There’s not many players you can say will do that after some of the results that we’ve had against us. I think players will want to go off and play somewhere else but they don’t. They turn up.  The boys do come back and they put the shirt on next week.”

Crockenhill have fallen on hard times ever since they were forced to leave the Kent League in 1999, due to the fact that Wested Meadow does not have floodlights.

It could be so easy for Crockenhill to withdraw from the Kent Invicta League, where they are rock bottom with no points from fifteen league games.

But Clark insists his players will turn up next Saturday for their home game against fifth-from-bottom side Glebe.

“They’ll be a good side,” said Clark, 46.

“The boys will put their shirts on, they’ll turn up, they’ll do the warm-up and they’ll go out there and they’ll give everything that they’ve got – that’s the one thing I do know – they will give everything so that’s all I can ask really.”

When asked about the club’s short-term and long-term future, the former Erith Town goalkeeping coach replied, “Towards the start of the season it was looking a bit grim, but now I think the future of the club for next season is looking quite bright.

“We are still going to be here.  Steve (Cullen) will still be there working hard. We’ll be trying hard in the summer to recruit players with plans in place to attract players to the club and we’ll take it from there.”

When asked whether the club will remain in the Kent Invicta League for a fourth season or will return to the Kent County League, Clark replied: “I don’t know.  We’ll talk about that in the summer. We’ll have a look in the summer. It’s all about the finances of the club. Keeping the club running, what’s best to keep the club running.”

The club want as many people as possible to attend their home game against Glebe next Saturday – and a crowd of over 50 would give everybody at the club a boost.

Many people have a soft spot for the club and to see it go out of business would be a devastating blow for Kent football.

Clark agreed and said: “Crockenhill’s been around Kent football for years, years and years and I don’t think not only us, I think any Kent team wouldn’t want Crockenhill to go out of business, which could have been the case at the start of the season.

“We’ll do our best so we’ll have meetings and chats and we’ll do whatever’s best to keep the club going.”

Orpington manager Sean Glover, 30, admitted he feels sorry for their more illustrious neighbours.

He said: “Crockenhill are a big club and it’s always sorry to see a club of that stature sort of slip away and go down the way that they are and in that respect, yes I do feel sorry for them and I wish them well and I wish them back to where they should be.”

Clark and his veteran players must be congratulated for keeping the famous old club going during difficult times.

“I would like to think me and my other coaches must be doing something right for the boys to turn up each week,” said Clark.

“At training I try to improve players, that’s the main aspect of me as a coach. I want to be able to improve players and at the end of the season if they can all turn round to me and say ‘I’m a better player now than I was at the start of the season,’ then for me that’s job done.”

Visit Crockenhill’s website:

Crockenhill  v Glebe
Kent Invicta League
Saturday 1st February 2014
Kick Off 2:00pm
at Wested Meadow, Eynsford Road, Crockenhill, Kent BR8 8EJ