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Soccer Shorts: I did consider handing in my resignation, says Fisher boss Steve Firkins PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 24 February 2012
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ASHFORD UNITED boss Paul Chambers says he hasn’t given up hope of clinching the inaugural Kent Invicta League title.

Ashford travel to basement side Orpington (Green Court Road, Crockenhill) tomorrow – a side that won 8-1 away to out-of-form Erith & Dartford Town last weekend.

Ashford have climbed up to fifth-place in the table, with 35 points from 21 games and are now only eleven points adrift of leaders Bly Spartans, with a game in hand over Matt Hume’s side.

Chambers told www.ashfordunited.co.uk
“It’s another away trip and we just have to keep doing what we’re doing.

“You never know in football and there are nine games left and 27 points up for grabs.

“We’ve got to try and get as many as we can and see where it leaves us.

“We’ve never got too excited where we are and have only ever taken one game at a time.  It doesn’t change now.”
BECKENHAM TOWN'S influential goalscorer Alfie Nunn returns from suspension for tomorrow’s home Kent Hurlimann Football League clash against Corinthian, who won the clash at Gay Dawn Farm 1-0 back in September.

Also included in Jason Huntley’s squad are new boys Jamie Turner, who signed from Fisher this week and George Bellchamber.

Meanwhile, the club will stage the English Schools National Cup Semi-Final between Bromley and Vale of the White Horse Schools (Oxfordshire).  The Eden Park Avenue clash shall take place on Wednesday, 7 March, kicking off at 6:00pm.

BROMLEY are opening their doors early on Saturday for another eventful day of action at Hayes Lane.

The day kicks off with the club’s Saturday Morning Soccer School, which offers a one-hour football coaching session for boys and girls aged from four of age and above for just £5.  For more details visit www.bromleyfc.net.

All applicants will also receive a free match ticket to the afternoon’s Blue Square Bet South clash against Chelmsford City.

Mark Goldberg’s side go into the game on the back of a four-match unbeaten run, and are now five points clear of the relegation zone.  Chelmsford, meanwhile, come to Hayes Lane sitting in second place in the table.

Meanwhile, Bromley’s under 18’s are in action at Hayes Lane on Sunday morning (11:00am) when neighbours Sevenoaks Town, who are coached by former Chelsea midfielder Micky Hazard, contest a Valley Express Kent Youth League Under 18 Central Division match.

Bromley are in sixth-place in the table, while Sevenoaks are in third place, eight points adrift of leaders Tonbridge Angels.

DARTFORD have confirmed that youngster Ben Thompson, who plays in the under 16 Kent Youth League side, has been offered a two-year scholarship at Npower League One outfit Millwall.

Thompson had impressed both Millwall’s academy manager Scott Fitzgerald and reserve team manager Richard Shaw in recent weeks.

Thompson captained the Kent representative team to the title this season and been an integral part of the Dartford team since he was five years old.

A club statement said: “Ben is a very popular player with everyone that knows him.  He thoroughly deserves this opportunity with Millwall for all the hard work and dedication he has put into to realise his dream. 

“Everyone at Dartford Football Club would like to wish him all the best in the next chapter of his football career.”
DOVER ATHLETIC under 15 manager Will Graham is looking forward to Sunday’s Kent County Cup Semi-Final against Maidstone United.

The match will be played at Crabble, kicking off at 2pm, and Graham’s boys will be given a feel of a first –team game by supporters, staff and volunteers.

Graham, who has played for Dover Athletic and Ramsgate, told www.doverathletic.com
“I would love to create a first team effect for these kids to reward them for their fantastic efforts this season.  I know what a great feeling it is to walk out at Crabble and can’t wait for them to experience that too.

“The boys have beaten the best team in the whole of southern England to reach the semi-final. It would make my year and these kids best moment in their young footballing career if we could get the Dover supporters there in numbers.

Dover Athletic’s youth co-ordinator Brian Butcher added: "Please come and support this game, the under 15’s are a talented side and it will give you an insight into the younger talent we do have locally.

"If it's a success we hope to hold further matches at Crabble in the future involving all of our Dover Athletic youth teams."

The Centre Spot bar and refreshments kiosk will be open for all spectators, but the only spectator access will be at the River End and along the near side of the ground to include the family stand.  This will allow the club to manage the ground easier and reduce the amount of clearing up to do after the game.

EBBSFLEET UNITED would like to remind supporters that tomorrow’s home game against Southport will kick-off at 2pm, with gates opening at noon.

The Football Conference, Southport and officials have all been informed of the new time, a consequence of the recent break-in and damage to the floodlight cables at Stonebridge Road.

And because of additional damage to the food outlets, the club has decided to close the Fleet Lounge, which will leave more room in the bar as the club intend to sell hot pasties, pies and sausage rolls from the bar area.

The food outlet on the Stonebridge Road side of the ground will not be open, but the tea hut will.  Hot food will be available at the food outlet nearest the main stand.

A club statement, published on the club website www.ebbsfleetunited.co.uk said: “As you are all aware we have some serious issues to deal with at the club over the next few days.  We hope that you understand that we are doing everything we can to ensure that football continues as near to normal as possible and trust we can count on fans’ support and co-operation.”

FAVERSHAM TOWN have organised a friendly match against Faversham Harlequins at Salters Lane next Tuesday, 28 February, 7:45pm.

The match may well be treated as a warm up for the Harlequin players prior to their Kent Junior Cup semi-final against N.K. Aces the following Saturday.

The friendly will see some former Faversham Town players turn out at Salters Lane again.

Faversham Harlequins manager John Goodwin is looking forward to his return .

He told www.favershamtownfc.co.uk
“Players like Craig Preston, Jason Mills, Jamie Sparks and Sam Parter will all feature in the game.  Julian Beale and myself may come on for a time as well.

“We will probably get beaten 10-0 but won’t worry about that.  We will just be enjoying ourselves!”

Faversham Town chairman Ray Leader added: “The football club have decided to charge £2 entry for everyone with proceeds going to the Faversham Boxing Club.  Let’s treat it as a charity match so together we can help another worthy cause in the town.”

Representatives from the Boxing club will attend the evening.  The man-of-the-match champagne is being donated by Faversham Harlequin’s chairman Mark Robinson.

FISHER manager Steve Firkins has revealed he almost decided to quit the club last weekend.

Firkins opted to quit Greenwich Borough last summer and brought his entire coaching staff and team with him to Champion Hill and predicted a top-three finish this term after The Fish finished at the foot of the Kent League table last season under Gary Lisney.

But the Supporter run south London outfit are presently sitting in ninth place in the table, with 28 points from 21 games and Firkins admitted he is at a low point.

Firkins told www.fisherfc.co.uk
“To be perfectly honest the last couple of games have without doubt been the lowest points of my managerial career.  Even going back as far as 1996 when I first took over a team at Red Lion Boys Club who were getting smashed week in week out.  This for me is still worse.

Firkins, whose side suffered a 4-1 defeat at Woodstock Sports last weekend, added, “In truth, after Saturday’s game I did consider handing in my resignation.  I was frustrated, angry and generally feeling sorry for myself but it was wrong of me to think like that.

“It’s up to me as manager to get the players lifted and prepare for the next game.  I’ve never walked away from a challenge in my life and I’m not going to start now.

“If players decide to move on that’s fine but this club with its history will always be there.  Even if I have to play the rest of the season with youngsters then so be it.  If a player wants to represent Fisher and wear that shirt with pride then that’s good enough for me.

Firkins added: “This season is only really the start.  We’ve endured a lot this year with a ridiculous run of injuries to some key players and we have still managed to get a side out and battled and compete each week.

“The future is looking bright for us with the academy being set up and lots of positives seem to be happening on the ground front at the moment, which is obviously key to the success of the club.”

Fisher are the fourth-best supported club in the Kent League with average gates of 105 at Dulwich Hamlet’s Champion Hill Stadium.

Firkins added: “I’ll tell you something as well, Fisher’s support is the best I’ve ever witnessed in my career and they deserve whatever success we can bring to this club.”

When asked about skipper Jamie Turner decision for opting to sign for the club’s Kent League rivals, bitter-rivals Beckenham Town earlier in the week, Firkins said: “I’d firstly like to thank Jamie for all his efforts this season.  I’m obviously massively disappointed at losing him as he has been a very big player for us this season, but I understand his wishes and hope he finds success, although in my opinion he can play at a higher level than the Kent League.”

will be without Dean Hill and Curtis Robinson (ankle) for tomorrow’s Ryman Premier League game against Bury Town at Hartsdown Park.

RUSTHALL have unveiled ground improvement plans to get their Jockey Farm ground up to scratch.

The Kent Invicta League club want to create a new entrance to the ground to ease congestion along a notorious dangerous road.  The single track lane from Nellington Road is shared with Jockey Farm and the club said it has become dangerous and disruptive

An application has been submitted to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to allow a new path and gates to be built from the car park to the main road.

The owner of Jockey Farm and vice-chairman of the football club, Dave Rusbridge said: “Horses, cars and people don’t tend to mix.  We’ve put up with it for more than 20 years but as the club gets busier now it’s a health and safety issue.

“A lot of away supporters have not been to the ground and struggle to turn around at the bottom.  The new entrance is a sensible idea but there are considerable costs with the application.”

The narrow road, which runs past the changing rooms, clubhouse and bar, and cars drive underneath the only covered area for supporters.

Rusthall parish councillor Chris Elwood welcomed the application.

He said: “From a safety point of view it’s a good idea and it will hopefully encourage yet more people to go there.

“When you drive down there, past the changing rooms, you almost have to drive through crowds of people.”

Meanwhile, the club confirmed that work is now underway to put hard standing areas around two sides of the main pitch and also building a storage area and directors’ box.

TONBRIDGE ANGELS have confirmed that they have met the necessary ground grading criteria to remain in the Conference South next season.

Manager Tommy Warrilow guided the club out of the Ryman Premier League via the play-off’s last season with wins over Harrow Borough and Lowestoft Town and takes his side to fourteenth-placed Farnborough tomorrow sitting comfortably in eleventh-place in the table with 37 points from 27 games.

Farnborough suffered Conference South play-off heartbreak last May when they lost to Ebbsfleet United, who reclaimed their place in the non-league elite after just one year’s absence.

The Angels were thrashed 5-1 by the Hampshire side when they met at Longmead Stadium back in September, when the Kent club were struggling to find their feet in the division following their promotion.

Striker Frannie Collin, 24, who extended his contract until the end of next season following last Saturday’s 3-0 home win over Weston-super-Mare, admitted Tonbridge Angels under-estimated Farnborough in that meeting.

The 23-goal marksman told www.tonbridgeangelsonline.co.uk: “We all knew that it was our worst performance of the season.  We never really turned up.  They had a young side and maybe it was a game where we underestimated them.  We saw the team sheet and the youngsters and maybe it was one of those where we thought we could turn up and win.

“It was a bit of a kick up the back side for us that we needed.  It was similar to the Cray Wanderers (a 4-0 home defeat) game last season.”

The former Chatham Town, Gillingham and Dover Athletic striker added: “Since then it made us change our ways a little bit and the points tally we have picked up since then proved it was something we needed.

“We definitely owe them one for that and hopefully we can go there and put one over them and get the three points.”

TUNBRIDGE WELLS manager Martin Larkin gave pacy attacker Charlie Oatway his debut during their 3-0 home defeat to Erith Town last weekend.

“Before a short stint at Ringmer, Charlie was at Crowborough and he has played against us in the Courier Cup a couple of times,” Larkin told www.tunbridgewellsfc.co.uk.

“He’s very quick and talented.  We will be working with him long-term to improve certain areas of his game. 

“The Kent League is a little different to the Sussex League.  All the same, he has one thing you can’t coach and that is blinding pace!”

Meanwhile, the club’s slim title aspirations have been hampered by home defeats to VCD Athletic and Erith Town in the past seven days.

Larkin added: “Our pitch is a massive disadvantage – teams always say it is an advantage, but they don’t have to play on it for a season.  I am disappointed with the last week – we knew how important it was and we just didn’t play with enough intensity.”

WHITSTABLE TOWN reserve team manager Dave Fairclough sent his side to play a friendly away to Deal Town on Wednesday night due to a lack of league games and cancellations due to the weather since Christmas. 

Whitstable won the game 5-2 and they got off to a flying start, with Danny Williams opening the scoring after just fifteen seconds at The Charles Sports Ground.

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Last Updated ( Friday, 24 February 2012 )
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