I want to give Snodland Town the success it deserves, says newly-appointed manager Luke Wallond
Newly-appointed Snodland Town manager Luke Wallond says he wants to guide his new club towards the promotion places next season.
The 35-year-old left Kent County League side Staplehurst & Monarchs United on Monday 27 April and was appointed Snodland’s new manager three days later.
Snodland Town were sitting second-from-bottom in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table with 14 points from their 24 league outings before the campaign was declared null and void.
“First and foremost, I would like to say I’m grateful to the chairman and club for this opportunity to progress as a manager from the Kent County League to the Southern Counties East Football League,” said Wallond, who has confirmed he will be working without a playing budget next season.
“My intentions as a manager, as well as my group of players from the past couple of seasons, were to compete in the Southern Counties East Football League.
“We got ourselves to a position where we have been quite successful, that being said the opportunity to manage Snodland Town was a hard offer to refuse, as myself and players are looking to progress and test our ability at a higher level.
“After speaking to the chairman on the phone and listening to his aspirations to move the club forward on the pitch, I am hopeful I can deliver.
“Behind the scenes they are putting in a lot of hard work to develop the ground, with a new clubhouse and changing room facility adjacent to the pitch.
“All of the above made it an easier decision to join Snodland. With myself, assistant manager and coaches joining, we will be aiming to improve last season’s results.
“From what I am led to believe the League will be looking to promote the top four to the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division as the 2019-20 season was ended early due to COVID-19
“With this in mind I am hoping that I can squeeze us into one of these positions and give the club the success it deserves.
“I am looking forward to my first time managing in the FA Vase and hoping we can have a good run and a couple of good away games.
“Whilst doing this and the facilities being improved, I hope we can keep the current spectators coming, bring back some of the old that may have been disheartened with previous results and encourage new supporters and the juniors to watch.
“Although we do not know when the new season will start or even when pre-season is likely to commence, I have had several phone calls and messages from new players who would like to attend pre-season, whilst also having a discussion with the current club captain inviting all current players.
“I will also have the majority of my squad from Staplehurst wanting to join, which will hopefully make all of the above more achievable.
“With COVID-19 and the Government enforced lockdown at the moment, it feels slightly weird not being able to put plans in place for the forthcoming season, which I am looking forward to doing but the health and safety of everyone is of paramount importance.”
Meanwhile, the club have launched an online fundraising appeal to raise £10,000 due to the coronavirus crisis lockdown.
A club statement said: “Snodland Town Football Club is a major community organisation in the town. We offer football to all age groups from six-year-old right through to adult.
“Like every grassroots football club we have been affected by the government clamp down on all sport during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In particular, our income over the summer months from a presentation evening, a penalty shoot-out competition and our annual football tournament have now been lost.
“We had hoped to achieve a grant from the Football Association via Sport England to help small clubs like ours to get through the current situation, but this has been rejected.
“We therefore find ourselves in a very precarious financial situation to cover general running costs to enable the club to survive and bring football back to all ages once Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.
“We are therefore appealing for the kindness and generosity of our local community, our supporters and friends to help the club see its way through this challenging period.
“Any donation, however large or small, will be hugely appreciated and will go directly towards the general running cost of the club and therefore ensure that we can come back stronger next season.
“In the meantime, please stay safe and healthy so that we can welcome you to watch football at Potyns Sportsground when sport returns to us all.”
To donate, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/snodlandtownfc-support
Visit Snodland Town’s website: www.snodlandtownfc.org