Soccer Shorts: I will play my final years out with Hythe, says Shaun Welford

Saturday 23rd May 2015

ASHFORD UNITED owner Don Crosbie says the 3G pitch that is being laid at Homelands Stadium during the summer will be ready to use by the start of next season.

Manager Paul Chambers guided the club to runners-up spot in the Southern Counties East Football League last season and will follow Maidstone United, Harlow Town, Whyteleafe, Sutton United in having artificial playing surfaces at their grounds.

Mr Crosbie told : “It will all be ready for the start of the new season. There is a lot to do in a short period of time but we are on time and it’s all going to plan.”

FOLKESTONE INVICTA boss Neil Cugley is back to doing business following his return from the club’s annual end of season jaunt to Magaluf.

Striker Richard Atkins believes that living in London, where he now works, may make it difficult for him to stay at Invicta, while midfielder Micheal Everitt revealed that his work commitments may force him to quit playing.

Cugley told “Atko’s living in Tooting now and I accept that could be a problem, but we’ll have to see if we can sort something out with both him and Mev.”

Talks are continuing this weekend as Cugley bids to add at least a couple of new faces to his squad.

He said: “It’s like this every year at this time. Some players are away on holiday, or you get a couple of rejections and have to think again, but I’m sure we are making progress.

“The two lads I’m after are good players with experience of playing at a higher level.

“Most of the squad have already signed on again, while we’re working on a couple of things with the others. I’ll be pleased when everything’s sorted out, but I’m more than happy with the situation at this moment.”

HYTHE TOWN boss Tim Dixon has been busy preparing his squad for next season.

Shaun Welford, who has scored 48 goals in 66 appearances for the club, has committed himself to the Reachfields Stadium club for next season.

Dixon told “I’m extremely pleased that Shaun Welford has signed for the forthcoming campaign. His attitude was first class towards the end of last season and despite several approaches, he has decided to stay with the Cannons.

“His experience is vital at a club like ours. He loves the club and we are looking forward to working with him again next season. He has just been given the honour to play for Middlesex Wanderers in their tour to Scotland last weekend and scored an absolute worldy against Queens Park, showing that he can score in Europe as well!"

Welford, who was interviewed by the club’s website, added: “No doubt at all really. There were a few phone calls from the usual clubs that sniff about each season, but I’d made the mistake of leaving last year so I’m glad to be on board.

“To be honest at the moment my feelings are that I will play my final years out with Hythe and then hopefully there will be another job for me whether it's washing the kit or coaching! So at the moment it's very likely I'll be staying, like I said I made a mistake leaving (for Cray Wanderers) last year so I'm not rushing off anywhere in the near future so as long as there's a job for me here I can see me staying!

Welford was proud that he was given the opportunity to play for Middlesex Wanderers.

He said: “Steve Ward (former Maidstone United assistant manager) gave me a call, he's a Wanderer and invited me along; it's in recognition of my career!

“They invited players from all levels of football in the hope we will promote their name when we return to our clubs and spread the word of the Middlesex Wanderers!

“It was a great experience where we played Dundee (we won 6-0 and I scored one) and Queens Park (won 2-0, scored a worldy!) We also had a stadium tour of Hampden Park and watched the play-off final at Stenhousemuir. All in all a great experience and an honour to be involved!

Cannons skipper, James Morrish, headlines a long list of Dixon's key players who have all followed in the footsteps of Laurence Harvey and Welford to sign on for next season.

Those three are joined by the experience of Michael Yianni, Craig Thompson, John Walker and Josh Burchell, with Walker now certain to set a new all-time appearance record for the club, after equalling Jason Brazier's total of 350 at the end of last season, a feat that led to a much-deserved chairman’s award at the club’s end of season presentation.

Dixon said: “Mo is one of the most sought after midfielders in Kent. His work rate is second to none and his experience, passion and enthusiasm is infectious. He too has been approached by several clubs and has had very lucrative offers, but I’m over the moon that he has decided to stay with the Cannons for the right reasons.”

Young player-of-the-year Jordan Wells, Sam Conlon and managers player-of-the-year Roddy Haward have all re-signed for the club.

Harry Carr, who moved through the ranks at Hythe Stars & Stripes to captain Hythe Town’s under 16s, before stepping up to play a key role with the under 18s last season, made a handful of first team appearances for the Ryman League Division One South club last season, has also re-signed for the club.

MAIDSTONE UNITED have signed former West Ham United defender Callum Driver.

The 22-year-old joined Dartford last November and made more than 25 league and cup appearances for Tony Burman’s side.

Driver began his career with The Hammers at the age of 12 and loaned him out to Burton Albion during the 2011-12 season, where he made eight appearances.

His West Ham United first team debut came at The City Ground in a FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest in January 2014.

After his release from Upton Park, he moved to Conference South Whitehawk at the start of last season and will be playing in the same division, rebranded Vanarama National League South for the Stones next season.

The player’s dad, David, is on the board at Ryman League Division One North outfit Phoenix Sports.

MALDON & TIPTREE have unveiled Kevin Watson as their new manager.

Not to be confused with the Kevin Watson who remains Chatham Town’s manager, this Kevin Watson, 41, is the former Tottenham Hotspur, Colchester United and Reading midfielder, who took charge of the Ryman League Division One North club following the departure of Alan Kimble last week.

Kimble, 48, who was Liam Daish’s assistant manager at Ebbsfleet United, was appointed in September 2014 and stood down following a poor run of results that left the Jammers needing a draw from their final match of the season to secure their future in the Ryman League.

Kimble’s assistant, Anwar Uddin, has also left the club to take over as manager of Essex Senior League side Sporting Bengal United.

SUTTON UNITED have signed pacy winger Tom Bolarinwa from Cray Wanderers.

TONBRIDGE ANGELS manager Steve McKimm has brought striker Luke Blewden back to Longmead Stadium.

Blewden, 24, profited from his spell at Lewes last season scoring nine goals in 19 starts for the East Sussex club and has the ability to play in different positions.

The Angels’ goalkeeping vacancy is being filled by Anthony Di Bernado, 32, signed from relegated Peacehaven & Telscombe.

“I’m really pleased that these two players have agreed terms with us for this season,” McKimm told

“They both bring Ryman Premier experience with them and are key in building a squad that can challenge for a play-off place come the end of the season.”

The Angels suffered a disappointing campaign last season, finishing fifth-from-bottom in the Ryman Premier League table.

THAMESMEAD TOWN have confirmed that defender Jack Hopkins and striker Tyrus Gordon-Young will be staying at Bayliss Avenue next season.

VCD ATHLETIC manager Keith McMahon has gone back to his former club Thamesmead Town to sign left-back Ashley Probets, 30.

WELLING UNITED have confirmed that Zach Fagan and Tashan Adeyinka have both put pen to paper on deals to stay at Park View Road next season.

Fagan joined the club last summer and was utilised in both defence and midfield during his first season in senior football.

Adeyinka was plucked from Conference South side Maidenhead United by Fazakerley and he added a new dimension to the Wings attack during the final two months of the campaign.

Meanwhile, the club have confirmed their admission prices for next season’s Vanarama National League campaign will stay at last season’s prices.

The Wings will continue to charge £15 for adults, £9 for concessions (over 60s) and just £5 for 12-17 year-olds.  Students will be charged £10 on production of a valid student card and under 12s are free when accompanied by an adult.  here will be an additional £1 charge for seating.