Sometimes you have to take a step back before moving forwards again and that certainly seems the case given the positive atmosphere around the club since our arrival, says Whitstable Town boss Richard Styles

Wednesday 27th July 2022

WHITSTABLE TOWN manager Richard Styles says the club are certainly not feeling sorry for itself after suffering relegation from the Isthmian League at the end of a miserable campaign.

The Oystermen finished bottom of the Isthmian League South East Division and make a return to the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division with a brand new 3G artificial pitch at Belmont Road and fresh momentum.

Lloyd Blackman, Ben Harding, Keith McMahon and Andy Drury all managed the club last season.

Styles and his assistant manager Dan Morrin departed Tunbridge Wells after three years at the helm at Culverden Stadium and took over Whitstable Town on 16 May, and have brought a number of players with them from their former club.

“It’s obvious that mistakes were made at the club both on and off the pitch last season, but that’s all in the past and has been ever since Dan and I walked in the door,” said Styles.

“Sometimes you have to take a step back before moving forwards again and that certainly seems the case given the positive atmosphere around the club from both the committee and club members and fans that we’ve met since our arrival.

“The club is in a very good position with the huge youth set-up at the club, as well as the academy and supporting teams right up to the first team.

“Added to that the brand new pitch and what will be a new ground is looking very impressive, so it’s certainly not a club that is feeling sorry for itself.  In fact, quite the opposite with so much going on behind the scenes and the football coming back just adds to that excitement around the club.”

Whitstable Town kick-off their campaign on Saturday with a trip to Rotherhithe to play thirteenth-placed finishers Fisher.

“Fisher is a tough place to start, it’s never an easy place to go to and every team on the opening day will want to start well with a positive result,” added Styles.

“For us, it’s about preparing right and setting ourselves up in a way that we feel gives us the best chance of doing that.”

Styles insists he will give youth players a chance to impress in the ninth-tier.

“We feel we’ve retained the players from last season that we wanted. We have also made signings that we felt we needed and added to this the array of youth products like Cameron Chamberlain, Alfie Prior, George McIlroy, Ashton Miller, we’ve been able to sign first-team forms and work with over pre-season has been great.”

When asked about Whitstable Town’s aspirations for the season ahead, and what kind of league he is expecting, Styles replied: “We are looking forward to taking every game and competition seriously this season in what I think will be an interesting one, with a number of teams expressing what they want to do etc, but it will certainly be more competitive after the two teams that left the division last season.

“There are a number of teams who can compete if they get it right, no doubt there will be a number of twists and turns along the way too.

“We’re looking forward to getting going after a good pre-season where we have been able to work on our philosophy, as well as the players gelling and building the professional environment and set-up that we wanted to bring to Whitstable.”

Fisher  v  Whitstable Town
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 30 July 2022
Kick Off 3:00pm
At St Pauls Stadium, Salter Road, Rotherhithe, London SE16 5EF