Soccer Shorts: I'm glad Jon Pilbeam is staying for the right reasons, says Folkestone Invicta boss Neil Cugley

Wednesday 27th May 2015

BARNET have re-signed former Dartford midfielder Tom Champion, 29, following his contract expired at Cambridge United. The Bees were promoted back to League Two after winning the Vanarama Conference title last season.

CRAY WANDERERS will not be playing West Ham United in pre-season as their landlords Bromley have been banned laying an artificial pitch at Hayes Lane for top flight non-league football.

A club statement said: “As Bromley FC will not be changing the playing area to an artificial 3G pitch, it will not be possible to have the game against a West Ham XI consisting of a mixture of their under 21 and under 18 players.”

Cray Wanderers maintained their Ryman League status after now departed boss Tommy Warrilow and his assistant Alex O’Brien guided them to a club record ten wins out of their last ten games.

DULWICH HAMLET left-back Frazer Shaw has been called up to join the England C squad for their friendly trip to Republic of Ireland on 1 June.

A brief statement from the Ryman Premier League club said: “Frazer joins a long list of Dulwich Hamlet internationals, though it is some time since a Champion Hill player pulled on the famous three lions’ shirt.”

The Hamlet finished their campaign in fourth-place in the table but went down to a 2-1 defeat in a high quality play-off semi-final at Margate, who went on to beat Hendon 1-0 in the play-off final.

EBBSFLEET UNITED’S coaching staff will have a familiar face or two with the confirmation of Steve Gritt’s return as assistant manager and David Jupp taking up the reins as first-team coach once more.

Vastly experienced former Charlton manager Gritt had been the club’s chief scout since November 2014, having previously served as assistant to Steve Brown since June 2013.

Jupp, a UEFA A-licence coach who also holds an Academy Manager’s licence, worked at Brighton’s youth academy for over a decade and on a number of FA programmes and also served at the Fleet under Steve Brown, before taking up a position as interim assistant manager at Lewes in March.

Fleet boss Daryl McMahon told “I’m delighted to have both back at the club. Both bring real quality to the management team. Gritty has a wealth of experience and is a fantastic professional whilst Dave is an excellent coach. Both have a real drive and desire to help the club be successful.”

ERITH & BELVEDERE have re-signed attacker Jamie Wood from Greenwich Borough, who have also told central defender Joe Vines that he can leave the double cup winning Southern Counties East Football League club.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA manager Neil Cugley confirms Jon Pilbeam will be staying at Cheriton Road.

The 25-year-old winger joined the club from Southern Counties East Football League side Tunbridge Wells last summer and has been the subject of much close season speculation above a move away from last season’s Ryman League Division One South runners-up.

Cugley told “I’m glad he’s staying – and that he’s staying for the right reasons.

“Financially he’d been offered better than we were able to pay, but he likes it here and has agree to sign for another year.

“He’s a good lad and, as we all know, can make the difference between us winning and losing when he’s really in the mood.”

Cugley, who suffered more play-off heartbreak when they were defeated 3-0 at home to Merstham in the play-off final, hopes to complete a second new signing by the weekend, having signed striker Carl Rook, 32, from Cray Wanderers.

HASTINGS UNITED have confirmed that Garry Wilson has returned to manage the Ryman League Division One South club and he’ll be assisted by Danny Bloor.

MAIDSTONE UNITED have confirmed that they have sold over 750 season tickets ahead of their inaugural National League South campaign.

The club report that in three and a half weeks, 25% of their ground’s eventual capacity has been brought in advance.

Chief executive Bill Williams told “What a fantastic milestone to reach and there’s still another two months before the league starts.

“Thank you to everyone who’s purchased a season ticket – it certainly backs the directors’ decision of investing more than £600,000 to improve the capacity and facilities this summer.”

TONBRIDGE ANGELS confirm that £5,000 worth of refurbishment work is being carried out on their pitch at Longmead Stadium.

The Angels finished one place above the Ryman Premier League relegation zone in Steve McKimm’s first season in charge of the club.

VCD ATHLETIC’S newly-appointed manager Keith McMahon is preparing for the club’s second Ryman Premier League campaign after ex-boss Tony Russell picked up maximum points from their last six games to maintain their status in the division.

McMahon, the former Thamesmead Town chief, spent Bank Holiday Monday by signing winger Ryan Palmer, 24. The Lewisham based school teacher played for the club at under 18 level and last season played for two Ryman Premier League sides in Hendon and Leatherhead last season before dropping down to play for Bromley-based Glebe in the Kent Invicta League, where he scored 13 goals in 15 games.

Right-back Aaron Best, 24, arrives from Ryman Premier League rivals Grays Athletic.

Ashley Probets has opted to leave Thamesmead Town to return to the Crayford-based club, while striker 22, Niko Muir, who scored 28 goals for Northwood last season comes in, so does central midfielder Lewis Dark, 26.

WHITSTABLE TOWN newly-appointed manager Will Graham has revealed that midfield general Nick Treadwell has re-signed for the club and has been appointed captain, while Joe Kennett will be vice-captain.