Soccer Shorts: I think selling the club to potential players is a massive part of our recruitment this summer, says Ebbsfleet United boss Garry Hill

Thursday 06th June 2019

Here are tonight's Soccer Shorts articles.

BARKING manager Justin Gardner has added former Cray Wanderers' under 23 coaches Mark Dacey and Adam Flemming to his first team management team.

BRIDON ROPES have today appointed Junior Montgomery as their new first team manager, replacing James Doherty, who stepped down yesterday.

“Junior Montgomery, our current under 18’s manager, has been appointed as our new first team manager and he will be assisted by our current top goalscorer and managers player-of-the-season Nathan Simpson,” said a club statement from the Southern Counties East Football League First Division side.

Bridon Ropes have lost twins Tyler and Cameron Anderson-Parr to newly-promoted Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Welling Town.

CANTERBURY CITY’S newly-appointed manager Clive Cook has appointed his son David and John Ovard to form part of his management team.

CHATHAM TOWN manager James Collins has prised striker Harry Harding away from newly-promoted side Erith & Belvedere, where he helped them win promotion from the Southern Counties East Football League First Division and win the London Senior Trophy and the Hospitals Charity Cup.

Chatham Town, who won the Kent Senior Trophy and Challenge Cup last season, have confirmed that Reece Butler, Dan Ellis, Jack Evans, Michael Hagan, Zak Henry, Matt Bodkin and Paul Vines have agreed to re-sign for the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division club.

DOVER ATHLETIC manager Andy Hessenthaler has unveiled the signings of centre-half Will de Havilland, 24, midfielder Oscar Gobern, 28, midfielder Kurtis Cumberbatch, 23.  Midfielder Joe Bedford, 21, who made four appearances for the club last season, has signed a two-year deal to stay at the Vanarama National League club.

DARTFORD have confirmed the departure of midfielder Tom Murphy.

“After two seasons of being in and out of the team, Tom needs to be playing every week, which is not something we can offer at this time,” said a club statement.

“He goes with our very best wishes and support in finding a new opportunity.”

EBBSFLEET UNITED manager Garry Hill has made centre-half Ayo Obileye, 24, as his first summer signing, following his switch from their Vanarama National League rivals Maidenhead United.

“It’s nice to add a new player to the squad,” Hill told

“I do believe that when players see those of experience at National League level signing for the football club, that can be a big benefit, an excitement for other players to join.”

Selling that enticement is all part and parcel of the challenge the Fleet manager faces this summer and he’s fully aware of the assurances he needs to give to potential new recruits.

Hill said:  “You’ve got to sell the club to people again.  I think anybody who knows me in football in any capacity knows that I’m down the line, I’m straight-talking and I’ll say it honestly.

“I think selling the club to potential players is a massive part of our recruitment this summer. But I do believe there’s value in me straight talking, the same way Dave Archer is with me, that if everything off the pitch in those other areas moves in the direction we’re hoping it will, then we want to bring the club and the supporters with us and get everyone behind us again.”

Hill has been Stonebridge Road working through targets alongside managing director Dave Archer this week and while he hopes to do a lot more business in the coming weeks, he knows the full squad picture may take a little longer.

Hill said:  “We’re working through June and July.  I’m not overly concerned by getting everyone we need in by 29th June, that’s not a problem. We don’t play the first league game until August 3rd. 

“It’s been a long day today but a worthwhile one and there’s not many people at the club seeing a summer holiday. Me and Dave Archer are working every hour under the sun to get the football club the stability it needs and the direction it needs to be able to function as intended.”

Obileye may be the first new signing of the forthcoming season but Hill still has six players under contract in Nathan Ashmore, Ebou Adams, Jack King, Sean Shields, Corey Whitely and Lawrie Wilson.

“Those six players are the same as anyone else,” said Hill.

“I will always take a view if anybody enquires, if anybody shows interest for a transfer or a loan, but right now they’re Ebbsfleet United football players after that opportunity (to move on) having been there for a month. I felt it was very important to get out in the open that everyone has had an opportunity to determine their future.

“It’s obviously been well reported how I’ve given all the players the month of May to have that opportunity. That gives me that start now going forward where I can progress with the squad of players who are still at the present time at the football club and work that into the new financial construction we’ve got going into August.”

Three further players – Danny Kedwell, Jack Payne and Myles Weston – were offered new contracts but have not taken up those options as yet.

“We sent the offers by letter but they were on much-reduced terms, of course, there’s no secret about that, that was always part of us going forward in this new direction,” revealed Hill.

Hill may use pre-season as an opportunity to field trialists, something Fleet fans have by and large not experienced for five or six years, but that’s a decision he will make at a later date.

He said: “A lot depends on what comes out over the next few weeks in respect of players that we sign, what targets we miss out on, the numbers we’ve got and that will be another point at which we need to take stock of where we are.

 “I think the maximum number of games I’ll be having is six or thereabouts. We’re not going to have a massive squad straight off, I don’t want to burden ourselves with too many games too quickly and all of a sudden players and numbers are down a little bit and you’re asking too many players to play too many games too early and having injuries.

“But overall, in the big picture we are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. It’s been tough but I think all of us at the club have shown loyalty and the hard work we’ve put in by battling and working through some difficult times together.”

ERITH & BELVEDERE manager Owen Jones has appointed Rupert Jones as his assistant manager.

The Deres are preparing for life back in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division after two seasons in the First Division.

Jones won promotion after finishing runners-up to Welling Town by just a point as well as winning the London Senior Trophy and Hospitals Charity Cup at the end of his first season in charge at Park View Road.

“Rupert will take up Michael Cooper’s role while he is acting chairman.  Rupert is the twin brother of Owen.

“Rupert will be no stranger to Park View Road. Rupert played for Welling United before taking the reserve team manager’s position at Tilbury, soon becoming Tilbury’s first team manager,” said a club statement.

FOLKESTONE INVICTA manager Neil Cugley says midfielder Ronnie Dolan has re-signed for the Bostik Premier Division club.

Dolan injured his ankle during their 2-0 defeat at National League South side Woking in The Buildbase FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round on Saturday 24 November 2018, which finished his campaign.

Dolan has recently had a successful operation and he is due to see his surgeon in a couple of weeks.

“I’m really pleased that a quality player such as Ronnie has re-signed for next season,” Cugley told

“He had an excellent season until his injury and I’m sure that had he played for the full season he would have been in contention for the player-of-the-season awards.

“His fitness sounds very positive and hopefully he will be available for our first pre-season training sessions and the games, although we will have to manage him carefully through that period, of course.”

HERNE BAY’S newly-appointed manager Ben Smith has signed Luke Griffiths from Faversham, while Simon Kabamba, Alex Mulrooney-Skinner, Joe Nelder and Danny Rumbol will be playing their football at Winch’s Field next season.

HOLLANDS & BLAIR’S newly-appointed manager Simon Halsey has announced his management team as he prepares for the new season.

Halsey will be assisted by Luke Harvey; Damien Hodge (coach); George Howard (goalkeeper coach); Sam Clarke-Keen (physio); Dean Rodwell (kit manager) and Connor Heffernan (coach).

Centre-half Callum McGeehan has left their Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division rivals Beckenham Town to sign for the club, while Sam Welch and Harrison Pont also arrive.

MERSTHAM have appointed Frank Wilson as their new manager, replacing Hayden Bird, who was appointed Kingstonian’s new manager last month.

“I am thrilled to be appointed first team manager of Merstham FC,” the former Tooting & Mitcham United manager told

“After sitting down with the board and understanding the clubs objectives, I knew this was a fantastic opportunity at a club that is genuinely part of the community with a great history and proud traditions.

“I can’t wait to meet everyone connected with the club and get pre-season underway at the end of June.

“The club made great strides under Hayden and I hope to continue where he left off.

“I’m excited to be part of the next phase of the clubs journey and I’m relishing the challenge of taking Merstham FC forward.”

PHOENIX SPORTS have retained the services of Kenny Aileru, Ollie Andrews, Ryan Andrews, Jack Barry, Lee Bird, Zak Bryon, Lewis Clark, Jeff Duah-Kessie, Andrew Dythe, Jack Hopkins, Steve Phillips, Ashley Probets, Ryan Solan, Solomon Taiwo, George Whitelock and Danny Young.

RAMSGATE manager Nick Davis says he is happy with the players that he has brought in this summer but added that his business is not yet complete.

The Rams boss has already brought in Jack Paxman, William Johnson-Cole, Steve Smith and Jonny Steele as he targets promotion from the Bostik South East Division next April.

"I'm really pleased with who we have brought into the club," Davis told

“The recruitment was very important for us this summer and I’m being very particular with who we bring in.

“So far we have brought in a mix of experience and hungry youngsters and I’m certain they will help us push on.

“But my business is not yet done. I believe we need a couple more to give us competition in all areas. We will need different options for different situations against different opponents - It’s critical to be successful.

“We have six players on contract right now and another eight who have formally agreed, but we won’t go public with that until the forms are out mid-month.

“You will find out more (about signings) in due course.”

Looking ahead to pre-season, Davis said: “Pre-season will all be about fitness and the squad coming together.

“They will need to get used to how each other play, get into good habits, stay organised and then hopefully we will take that into the new season.

“If the new additions gel with the current players, and I’m sure they will, we stand a good chance of fulfilling our goals. The plan is to be successful.”

RUSTHALL are staging a Charity Game in aid of Hospice in the Weald and the Kent Air Ambulance on Sunday 21 July (13:00) as they take on an Arsenal Charity XI at the Jockey Farm Stadium, Nellington Road.

TONBRIDGE ANGELS have retained the services of Tom Beere, James Folkes, Tom Parkinson and Liam Smith.

VCD ATHLETIC manager Keith McMahon has retained the services of Courtney Barrington,  Joe Denny, Temi Eweka, Matt Funnell, Alex Gaggin, Alastair Gordon, Charlie MacDonald, Domnic Odusanya, Bradley Simms and Jack Steventon.