This week has been a tough one for everyone involved at Kent Football United and there were tears and emotions, says newly-appointed Sporting Club Thamesmead joint-manager Ennio Gonnella

Thursday 25th August 2022

SPORTING CLUB Thamesmead have appointed former Kent Football United boss Ennio Gonnella as joint-manager alongside Aaron Jeffery.


The Acre sit at the foot of the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table having lost all of their four opening league games and have turned to the former Kent Football United manager following the Dartford based club's demise.

“A new venture and club badge on my chest, I’m full of excitement and look forward to a bright future with Sporting Club Thamesmead,” said Gonnella.

“The decision to join Thamesmead was very easy.  They have a superb ground, one of, it not the best in the league.  The club is very well run by Sam Taylor and Lee Hill, two guys I personally get on with and are top guys.

“Working alongside Aaron is going to be brilliant.  We have had a great start to management life together and have been in regular contact.

“Aaron is a terrific guy, his morals are correct, he’s a very talented manager but more importantly, a very nice guy.  We look forward to hopefully having success.

“I look forward to walking into a new changing room with very good players and nice blokes, to a dug-out with a great management team.

“We are expecting a reaction to the league position we find ourselves in and from last night’s friendly win and performance, we find ourselves in good spirits moving into Saturday’s FA Vase fixture.”

Gonnella revealed there were tears and emotions as Kent Football United’s 10-year stint playing in the tenth-tier of English football came to an end yesterday.

“My time at Kent Football United has sadly come to an end.  When I reflect on my years there, I have fond memories,” said Gonnella.

“Roy MacNeil has given his all to his football club and believe me when I say this, was not an easy decision for him.  There were tears and emotions but at his age he has to start thinking of himself.

“Club volunteers are very thin to find nowadays, asking him to do everything on his own, is not right.

“Kent Football United, at one point, had volunteers in abundance.  There was a time when the club was one, every youth section had helpers, youth team players were mascots on senior games with parents in the stands.  There was progression into the first-team.  Flags were flying, music blaring and it was a happy time.

“This week has been a tough one for everyone involved at Kent Football United.  The players’ have been amazing, took the news like men, acted correctly and I cannot thank them enough for the efforts over the years for some and this pre-season for the new players.

“They are all great people and good players that any manager should be lucky to be working with.

“That’s now come to an end and I only wish Roy, Sam MacNeil and the boys all the best in the future and thank them for the memories.”

Lewisham Borough and Sporting Club Thamesmead are the only teams without a point in the league table.

The Acre have suffered defeats to Rochester United (0-2), Larkfield & New Hythe (0-2), Bridon Ropes (0-3) and AFC Whyteleafe (1-3).

They travel to Chipstead in Surrey to tackle league rivals Tooting Bec in The FA Vase First Qualifying Round on Saturday.

Matthew Hancock’s side sit in the bottom five having lost 2-1 at current leaders Lydd Town on the opening day of the campaign.

Tooting Bec then won 3-1 at newly-promoted side Bermondsey Town before being held to a goal-less home draw by Croydon and in their last outing they lost 4-0 to Matt Hume’s Rochester United.

Tooting Bec  v  Sporting Club Thamesmead
The Isuzu FA Vase First Qualifying Round
Saturday 27 August 2022
Kick Off 3:00pm
at High Road, Chipstead, Surrey CR5 3SF