Whitstable is a competitive game and a game we'll be looking to win, says Herne Bay boss Sam Denly

Monday 14th July 2014
HERNE BAY manager Sam Denly says his side are looking forward to their opening pre-season game on Tuesday night.

The Bay welcome bitter rivals Whitstable Town to Winch’s Field to contest the annual Bruce Smith Shield.

Denly is pleased with the way pre-season training is going, as he looks to improve on their 18th-place finish in the Ryman League Division One South last season.

He said: “It’s gone really well. A lot of players have turned up. We went back a week later than we did last year because it was a long, old season last year, so I gave them an extra week off.

“We run a voluntary (training session) before that and the boys have worked really hard. They look sharp and they’re looking fit and we’re looking forward to our first game tomorrow night now.”

Looking ahead to the game against Jim and Danny Ward’s side, who opened their pre-season campaign with a 1-0 home defeat to Conference South side Whitehawk at the weekend, Denly said: “It will be a difficult game, local derbies always are. 

“Whitstable’s under new management with Jim and Danny Ward so I’m expecting it to be a hard fought local derby as they always are.

“I’ve got a few new players to be looking at.  I’ll be using a squad of around 20 so it will be almost two different sides that I’ll be putting out.

“It’s a competitive game and a game we’ll be looking to win.

“It gives me an opportunity to look at players. We won’t be putting out our strongest side and I’m sure Whitstable will be doing the same.

“I’ve got a few lads’ on trial that I’m looking at and it’s a chance for me to see if they’re up to standard. We’ll use it as a tool.  You do your work in training and use your games to get a bit of match fitness. The early games are there to tell you a few things about players. 

“It’s also a chance for the team to gel, get used to playing, get used to each other, working on formations and set-pieces, making sure when the 9th of August comes we’re ready to get going.”

The Ryman League fixtures are expected to be published on Friday.
Denly said: “We’re all geared up for today for them coming out today but they’ve not been published yet. We all want to know where we are come 9th August.  Hopefully, maybe, tomorrow they’ll be coming out.

“The League season is getting closer and closer so the sooner we know the better.”

When asked his aspirations for the season ahead, Denly replied: “To be competing from last season. I said it and I’ll say it again. I want to be here for a long time. I hope to be given time.

“We’re not a new side now. We worked hard last year. I’ve kept nearly everyone from last season. We’ve only lost one player in Dean Grant and we look to add around that and compete and look to improve on last year’s campaign.”

Meanwhile, former Herne Bay keeper Dan Eason has signed a one-year contract to remain at league rivals Hythe Town.

Manager Tim Dixon told www.hythetownfc.co.uk : “Dan is such an important part of the football club.  It was vital to secure his signature for the season ahead.

“He has had approaches from other clubs, so he can now concentrate on establishing himself even more as one of the top goalkeepers in the Ryman League.”

Visit Herne Bay’s website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/hernebay

Herne Bay  v  Whitstable Town
Pre-Season Friendly
Tuesday 15th July 2014
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Winch’s Field, Stanley Gardens, Herne Bay, Kent CT6 5SG