As we have now played ten competitive games we felt this was a good time to give an update about how things have been going to keep everyone fully informed. Hopefully you have been able to download the online programme and read the weekly notes. It has been a very busy ten games in these ‘strange times’ but it has been fantastic to be able to get the season started and feel some form of normality on a Saturday afternoon and Tuesday evening. Season So Far We have been really pleased with the start to the season so far. We have only lost 2 games in 90 minutes and have out in some excellent team performances with the highlight so far being the 4-1 win against higher league Sittingbourne in the FA Cup. Our defensive record has been excellent and it has been great to see our young attacking talent amongst the goals. As a group we will keep working towards the targets we have set ourselves and are always looking to improve. With the high number of midweek games, we are not able to train as often as we would be used to but we are still using that time to work on all areas of our performance. We have a tough run of fixtures coming up but as ever we will prepare for each game properly and do everything in our power to pick up three points. Injuries We have had a tough start to the season in terms of injuries to some of our key players but it is testament to the strength of the group that we have done well without them. Unfortunately, Ben Cardwell’s knee injury that he picked up against Sittingbourne is more serious than first feared and he is going to need an operation that will keep him out for a number of months. This is gutting for us all, especially Ben, after his brilliant start to the season but we all look forward to seeing him back in a Hoops shirt soon. Connor Coyne is also still struggling with a knee injury but will hopefully be back in the next couple of weeks. In more positive news both Sam Wilson and Lee Scott are back from arm and shoulder injuries respectively and it will be good to see them back out there. New Arrivals We have moved to bolster our attacking options this week by bringing in George Stannard on a dual registration from Whitstable. George is a forward player who played football in America and is another local lad who can improve the squad. It is also good that we have been able to welcome back Ryan Lewis who has been out since the end of last season with a groin injury but is now back fit and will feature in the squad this weekend. Landmarks We are lucky to have a very loyal group of players and it is always a pleasure when we get to celebrate appearance landmarks. Liam Hark (200 appearances) and Jack Paxman (100 appearances) have already passed significant landmarks this weekend and they will be joined by another couple of players this week. Alfie Foster will reach 100 appearances this weekend and Lee Scott’s return from injury will see him reach the 200-appearance mark. These boys have been fantastic for the football club and we look forward to seeing them achieve further landmarks over the next couple of years. Thanks As mentioned earlier COVID-19 has made life difficult for everyone but a massive thanks need to go to all of the club’s board for the way they have continued to fully support the team during this period ensuring we are able to function as normally as possible. Natalie has worked very hard along with the rest of the board to ensure that everyone is safe when visiting the Charles Ground. Thanks also go to Dave Chmura and the team of volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure the ground is always in great condition. The work of everyone is appreciated by the both the players and management team. Support As ever it has been great to see such great support from our fans. It was only 5 years ago that we would be getting home crowds of around 60-80 and we are now regularly in and around 200, which is a great achievement. The players really do appreciate the support and it certainly spurs them on that extra little bit. It was also brilliant to see such great away support at Glebe last week where the boys put in a hard-working display to pick up a hard-earned point. Please continue to encourage friends and family to come along and support, they will be assured of a warm welcome and some entertaining football.
This time it wasn’t to be for Deal as they bowed out of the FA Vase at the hands of a Binfield team who they