Soccer Shorts: Ebbsfleet United sign former Concord Rangers goalkeeper Chris Haigh

Saturday 05th June 2021

Here are today’s Soccer Shorts articles, with the recent summer transfer news

BROMLEY manager Andy Woodman has been awarded the Vanarama National League manager-of-the-month award for May.

The 49-year-old guided the Lillywhites to their highest ever finish in the division of seventh-place, although he missed last Saturday’s 1-0 home win over Notts County as he was watching his goalkeeper son Freddie in action at Wembley Stadium.  Swansea City were defeated by Brentford in the Championship Play-Off Final, however.

Bromley travel to Hartlepool United tomorrow for their maiden Play-Off Eliminator, with the winner travelling to Stockport County in the Semi-Finals seven days later.

The promotion final – against Torquay United or Notts County - will be played at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate on Sunday 20 June 2021.

Notts County beat Chesterfield 3-2 in today's Play-Off Elminiator, twice coming from behind to win, courtesy of Mark Ellis' 90th minute header.

CRAY WANDERERS manager Danny Kedwell has signed Anis Nuur, 24, and Jack Turner ahead of his maiden managerial campaign, at the Isthmian League Premier Division club.

Attacking midfielder, Nurr arrives at Hayes Lane having spent last season playing for Hartley Wintney, making 11 appearances and helping the Hampshire-based Southern League Premier Division South side reach the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round.

Goalkeeper Turner made 175 appearances for Slough Town, keeping 46 clean sheets during his four seasons at the Berkshire club.

Turner began his career at AFC Wimbledon before spending four seasons at Staines Town before his move to the National League South side.

CROYDON manager Liam Giles has unveiled the signing of former Sporting Club Thamesmead striker Tim Beckford.

DARTFORD manager Steve King has signed striker Dan Roberts.

The 23-year-old has spent the previous two seasons at their Vanarama National League South rivals Slough Town.

Roberts scored against Dartford at home and away during the 2019-20 season and takes King’s squad up to 14 players for next season.

DEAL TOWN chair Natalie Benville says she’s feeling “extremely honoured” to be chosen to join the Kent Football Association as a non-executive board member and that she is “excited to get started,” in the role.

DOVER ATHLETIC are staging a fundraising match at Crabble on Sunday 8 August 2021, giving supporters a chance to line up against former players as well as current manager Andy Hessenthaler, 55, and his assistant Nicky Southall, 49.

Sammy Moore, Connor Essam and James Rogers are all making comebacks for Dover Athletic to play for Andy Hessenthaler’s Invitational XI.

A club statement said: “Two teams of supporters will play – one in the first half before the other plays the second, meaning 22 spots are available for anyone aged 17 or over.

“Those interested in playing will bid on what team they would like to play for and what position they want to play.

“Bidding starts at £50 and included in that price will be your official match shirt which you will keep.  Goalkeepers will also get an official shirt too.

“If anyone would like to be the manager of the supporters’ teams on the day and sit in the dug-out etc, they can bid on that too.”

Fans should email richard.harvey@doverathletic.com with your maximum bid amount, shirt size and phone number.  Bidding closes at 17:00 on 16 July.  The match will kick-off at 13:00.

EBBSFLEET UNITED have secured the services of former Concord Rangers goalkeeper Chris Haigh, 24.

Haigh pulled out a man-of-the-match performance during the Essex side’s FA Trophy Final defeat to now League Two side Harrogate Town in the 2019 delayed Wembley Stadium showpiece.

Haigh told the club website: “The club want to move up a division, that’s got to be our team goals.  I want to win games of football, that’s why I’m here.  For me now it’s about playing for a big club, showing what I can do.

“The chats I’ve had with the gaffer (Dennis Kutrieb) have made me feel at home, the player welfare here is something you don’t get everywhere and now I’m just looking forward to kicking on.”

The National League South club have retained the services of midfielder Mike West but Alex Eirich will return to his native Germany once his contract at Stonebridge Road expires this summer.

ERITH TOWN have appointed Metin Gozde as their new under 23 manager for their Suburban League side.

Gozde graduated from the University of Hertfordshire where he managed their men’s football team while also working as a scout for Stoke City.  He has a FA Level Two coaching badge, UEFA B License as well as a Talent ID Level Two certificate which he completed through Stoke City.

He has also done some scouting jobs covering non-league games for both Millwall and Bristol City.

Gozde brings with him a new coaching team comprising Craig Purssey and Baris Senturk to Erith Sports Stadium.

FISHER begin the search for a new first-team head coach after Ashley King stepped down from the role at the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division club.

“I have enjoyed my journey at the club and can’t thank (manager) Ajay Ashanike and Fisher for the opportunity to work with so many talented players,” said King.

“I wish all the players, fans and staff the very best for the future.”

HYTHE TOWN manager Steven Watt has confirmed that Will Godmon, Ryan Nicholls, Nathan Gordon, Liam Smith, Tom Wynter, James Rogers, Darren Oldaker, Charlie Webster, Alex Brown, Kane Phillip, Tom Walmsley, Frannie Collin, Alex Flisher and Jarred Trespaderne will be staying at Reachfields Stadium for next season’s Isthmian League South East Division campaign.

Meanwhile, the Cannons have captured former Margate striker, Noel Leighton, 22.

KENNINGTON manager Dan Scorer is preparing his squad ahead of the newly-promoted side’s maiden Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division campaign, which gets underway on Saturday 31 July 2021.

Club captain and experienced midfielder Gary Clarke, goalkeeper Joe Mant, talisman striker Gary Lockyer and influential attacker Callum Peck are staying loyal to the Ashford-based club.

“I’m delighted to be welcoming back all of last season’s squad,” Scorer told the club website.

“There has been plenty of attraction towards a number of them but I’m really pleased that everyone has committed to the club.

“We have an incredible array of quality in the dressing room and there is still plenty of potential for this group of players to progress and move the club further forward.

“Callum Peck and Robbie Dolan were brilliant additions to the group last season and I really feel that after settling into the squad they will play a big part in any success moving forward.

“Then there’s the likes of Gary Clarke, Joe Mant and Gary Lockyer, all of whom have Step Five experience, which will be crucial for us.”

LARKFIELD & NEW HYTHE Wanderers manager Kris Browning has made his first signing as a Southern Counties East Football League First Division club.

Midfielder Ben Davisson has left Sevenoaks Town to sign for the promoted club, dropping two divisions to play for the New Hythe Lane outfit, which was playing Kent County League Division One Central & East football during the curtailed 2020-21 season.

“I’m very excited. I used to do coaching on this pitch, what they’ve done with this place is unreal, this is the real deal,” said Davisson.

“The clubs ambition is, of course, promotion, knowing how to win is so important and hopefully with my experience, I can bring that.”

MAIDSTONE UNITED manager Hakan Hayrettin has re-signed Joan Luque after the 28-year-old midfielder agreed to sign a one-year deal with the National League South club.

Luque left the club at the end of January to join National League side Weymouth, which turned out to be a good move for hm when the North and South divisions were axed a few weeks later.

A former Barcelona Academy player, he moved to England in 2017 and signed for Heybridge Swifts. His impressive tally of 30 goals earned him a move to Lincoln City, before he returned to non-league football and played for Bromley, Concord Rangers and Dagenham & Redbridge.

Goalkeeper Tom Hadler has been handed a one-year deal.  The 24-year-old came through the Gillingham Academy and made his Football League debut in April 2018.

After his release from Priestfield in the summer of 2019, he signed for Eastbourne Borough and spent last season with Ebbsfleet United.

Meanwhile, Maidstone United’s under 23s, managed by former players Simon Austin and Joe Dowley are inviting players to trial for the Suburban League side next season.

A club statement added: “The squad trains at the home of the Stones on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  The ultimate aim is to provide players with a clear pathway to National League football (or above) and last season five under 23 players were dual-registered with the first team, with more than a dozen of the club’s under 18s and under 16s being called up for Suburban League fixtures.”

MARGATE manager Jay Saunders continues his preparation for the new Isthmian League Premier Division campaign by signing former Billericay Town midfielder Doug Loft, 34.

“I’ve been looking to add some experience to our squad and Doug fits the bill with the quality he brings,” Saunders told the club website.

“With all his experience, he is a key signing for us and like Lewis Knight is a player I believe will offer us a lot both on and off the pitch.

“Doug will be a great character to have in the dressing room, someone for our players – especially our younger ones – to learn from and I think he will give us that added edge in the heart of our midfield.”

Loft, who grew up in Maidstone, played for Brighton & Hove Albion, Dagenham & Redbridge, Port Vale, Gillingham, Colchester United, Shrewsbury Town in the Football League before dropping down to play National League South football for Billericay Town during the past two seasons.

He has made 399 appearances and scored 31 goals during his 16 year career so far.

SEVENOAKS TOWN manager Micky Collins has retained the services of goalkeeper Ben Bridle-Card, centre-half Joey Taylor and midfielders Reece Deakin, Kyle De Silva and Stefan Wright.

Meanwhile, Harry Edwards has been presented with a Long Service award for representing the club from under sevens through to the under 18s.  Edwards is the under 18s captain and also coaches the under nines at the club.

SITTINGBOURNE have confirmed the departure of Cory Walters-Wright.

WELLING TOWN have entered into a groundshare agreement with Dartford-based club Kent Football United for the 2021-22 season.

“Kent Football United would like to welcome Kevin Oakes and Welling Town to the football club,” said a club statement from the Southern Counties East Football League First Division outfit.

“We look forward to building a positive working relationship between the two clubs.”

Welling Town, who play in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division, had to move out of Bayliss Avenue in Thamesmead.

Kent County League Division One West outfit Metrogas have announced that they will be playing at the venue next season, forcing Welling Town to find an alternative.

Father and son owners Roy and Sam MacNeil have transformed Kent Football United's ground at Lowfield Street in recent years.

WHITSTABLE TOWN manager Lloyd Blackman has signed James Brown, Tom Carlton, Dan Eason, Ryan Flack, Liam Gillies, Jay Hards, Leo Mazzone, Jake McKenzie, Aaron Millbank and Tom Mills for next season’s Isthmian League South East Division campaign.

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