Soccer Shorts: Hollands & Blair sign striker Danny Kedwell
Here are this weekend’s Soccer Shorts articles.
DARTFORD manager Steve King has retained nine players ahead of their next Vanarama National League South campaign.
Tom Bonner, Josh Hill, Ronnie Vint, Craig Braham-Barrett, Sanchez Ming, Noor Husin, Jack Jebb, Elliott Romain and Cameron Brodie will be staying at Princes Park.
Nine players, however, have left the club. Luke Wanadio (Billericay Town), Mark Smith, Darren McQueen, Tyrique Hyde, Billy Crook, Nick Arnold, Liam Nash, Ryan Hayes (Chatham Town) and Andy Pugh (Chatham Town).
A club statement said: “Some of these players, after being offered terms for next season, have chosen to leave Dartford FC to seek clubs at a higher level.
“Some players were the choice of Steve King to not offer any terms for next season and have been released.
“We wish them all well in the future and thank them all for their hard work and dedication to the club throughout their time with us.
“The remainder of the players from last season and still in discussions with Steve and a further announcement regarding them will be made in due course.”
The Darts have signed Craig King, Jazzi Barnum-Bobb, Connor Essam, Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong, Ricky Modeste and Jack Barham this summer.
DOVER ATHLETIC have lost their captain Kevin Lokko after the 24-year-old centre-half signed for League Two newcomers Harrogate Town, who will spend their maiden League campaign playing home games at Doncaster Rovers while their home stadium transforms from a 3G artificial pitch to a grass surface.
FOLKESTONE INVICTA manager Neil Cugley has signed former Ashford United striker David Smith, 21 to replace Grimsby Town bound Ira Jackson.
The former Maidstone United, Sittingbourne and Dover Athletic striker scored 23 goals for Tommy Warrilow’s side last term and has impressed Cugley during pre-season to step up a division to the Isthmian Premier Division.
“I’m delighted to have signed David, he has impressed in the games he has played so far,” Cugley told Folkestone Invicta’s website.
“He is strong, his hold-up play is excellent and he has already shown he knows where the goal is.
“He is another one we’ve signed from a lower league who will feel he has got something to prove, we’ve done well with similar signings in the past and I’m sure David will be another.”
GILLINGHAM manager Steve Evans has clinched the season-long loan deal of Arsenal centre-half Zech Medley, 20 and attacking midfielder/striker Trae Coyle,19, also on loan from the Premier League club.
The League One side have also signed former Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Jordan Graham, 25 and former Scotland youth international attacker Alex MacDonald arrives at Priestfield Stadium after leaving Mansfield Town this summer.
HOLLANDS & BLAIR manager Simon Halsey has pulled off a summer transfer coup by signing former Havant & Waterlooville striker Danny Kedwell, 37.
The Gillingham-based striker scored 11 goals in 25 games for National League South side Havant & Waterlooville last season and has played for Chatham Town, Tonbridge Angels, Fisher, Lordswood, Maidstone United, Herne Bay, Welling United, Grays Athletic, AFC Wimbledon, Gillingham and Ebbsfleet United.
Grays Athletic paid £12,000 to capture his signature, while AFC Wimbledon splashed out £10,000 and Gillingham paid out 60 grand for his services.
A club statement said: “Hollands & Blair will be turning a few heads having made the biggest signing in their 50-year history after former AFC Wimbledon and Gillingham striker Danny Kedwell agreed to join for the 2020-21 season.
“A number of clubs were keen to sign the 37-year-old following his summer departure from National League South Havant & Waterlooville. He has now chosen to return to his roots and sign for the Southern Counties East Football League side.
“Of course, Kedwell had previously spent four years at home-town club Gillingham, who paid £60,000 for his services in July 2011 and went on to score 45 goals in 136 games for the Gills after making his League debut at Priestfield in a 1-0 win over Cheltenham Town on 6 August 2011.”
Halsey has also signed former Chatham Town right-back Joe Kane.
MARGATE manager Jay Saunders has called upon The Football Association and the UK Government to allow fans back into stadia.
In an interview on www.margate-fc.co.uk, Saunders revealed how pre-season is going at the Isthmian League Premier Division club.
“We’ve been back in training and it’s been a bit strange as we’ve had to adapt to the numbers we’re allowed and other things we’ve got to do to keep safe, so it’s been unusual,” said Saunders.
“We’ve got a lot of trialists in but as most people know already we’ve got eight or nine signed so far, so we are still working on building the squad, putting things in place.
“It’s also been a strange pre-season especially playing behind closed doors which has meant many teams of a higher level have arranged fixtures closer to them to minimalise travelling. It’s probably been one of the toughest pre-seasons to deal with and I’m sure that feeling is true for a number of people.
“I knew Jamie (Coyle) would come in and bring something new to us and the boys have taken to him really well. We also have Dan Logue who has joined to take on a lot of the fitness stuff, look after our warm-ups and so on and he will be a great addition.”
“It’s been a good start and I know the club has mentioned we might be training at Hartsdown Park, that’s something we’re looking at as we’ve been training at a more London based facility. We’ve had some of the youth team boys join in with us, we did some 11 v 11 stuff with them on Saturday alongside the Under 23s which was good for us and some of the new boys to visit the ground for the first time.
“I’d say fitness-wise, we’re probably behind some of the other teams where they have started earlier than us. I’m very sceptical as you could end up having a three-month pre-season the way things are going! We’re on course and I’m hoping by the weekend we will have another couple of recruits on board. “
Margate join a long list of non-league clubs eagerly awaiting an update for when supporters can be welcomed back, Saunders acknowledges the complexities of the current situation but hopes to see fans again soon.
He said: “It is weird and a strange situation playing behind closed doors and all I hope is that sooner or later we get supporters back watching football.
“I’ve seen a number of campaigns to get fans back in and I can’t see how clubs at this sort of level can run without crowds coming through the turnstile.
“I think for supporters - and everyone really - being able to go out and about, socialise and see other people at football will be a massive thing. Hopefully, the right decision will be made but on the same hand, safety is key. At the higher levels, there is testing and a whole load more, whereas at our level, I feel it’s kind of a case of ‘go back in and get on with it’ which is difficult. It’s just really not the same without our supporters.”
RAMSGATE have confirmed the departure of central-midfielder Harry Norman, 23, who joined the club from Basildon United.
VCD ATHLETIC manager Nick Davis has brought attacking midfielder Malachi Hudson, 24, back to the club. Since being away he has played for Welling United, Walton Casuals and Kingstonian.
The Isthmian League South East Division side have also snapped up former Chatham Town striker Paul Vines, while full-back James Fray, 27, has also left Scott Lindsey's side to play for the Crayford based outfit.
Vines has been training at Isthmian Premier Division side Cray Wanderers this pre-season before putting pen to paper for the Vickers.
The National League has revealed that for the 2020-21 campaign the South Division will consist of 21 clubs, which of course will mean a couple of blank match days and one less home game with the loss of potential revenue for member clubs.
Only the bottom club will be relegated at the end of the season with one other club with the worst record across the South and North Divisions.
It is planned that the South and North Divisions will increase to 24 clubs for the 2021-22 season.
National League fixtures for all three of their divisions are expected to be published on Tuesday 8 September 2020.
This page will be updated over the course of the weekend.
Last Updated: 19:00 - 16/08/2020
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