We haven't got the money to sign proven goalscorer, bemoans Gibbons

Wednesday 23rd August 2006

With their side rooted to the foot of the Kent League table, disgruntled fans of Tunbridge Wells are calling for the management team to splash the cash to bring in a proven striker to change their fortunes, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Culverden Stadium club have only scored two goals in their opening three games and have yet collected a point.

And on Saturday they travel to Herne Bay before they play local rivals Sevenoaks Town at Culverden Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday.

“We have spoken to lots of players both from all over the county,” assistant manager Steve Gibbons told www.tunbridgewellsfc.co.uk

“Some are playing for Kent League and Southern League standard sides but unfortunately money always comes into it.

“It’s difficult to sell the club to players if they won’t come training to see what not only the team has to offer but also what strides the club are making off the pitch to improve not only the football side of it but the whole experience of playing for the club.

“They need to see it for themselves and apart from dragging them down to the ground by the scruff of their necks you can only do so much.

“We have had players approach the club but they don’t seem to have the stomach for the fight as the Kent League is a very tough league and if you’re not ready for it than it’s easy to get muscled out.  Having said that some of the youth players look very good.”

Gibbons and boss Martin Farnie are finding it difficult to attract new players due to the decreased playing budget imposed on them.

“Obviously I can’t divulge the current budget but I can say that it is less than we inherited last season although it’s not intended to be used as an excuse,” said Gibbons.

“I think at this level it affects morale if you bring in a mercenary on high money to just put the ball in the back of the net.

“If every player was getting (for example) £10 each week and a striker came in with the carrot being dangled at £50 then it would be causing more problems if the player failed to deliver.

“But proven goalscorers in the top levels are worth their weight in gold, but it’s very hit and miss at this level, so keeping a happy ship is more important when the wages are not at the top end of the scale.

“Try telling the boys when they travel to Deal that the money they would normally be getting to fill their cars with petrol to cover their travelling expenses is being given to the striker who hasn’t scored again but he has a few quid in his pocket.”