Side for next friendly is likely to start league season
- Friday, 03 August 2012
- Written by Mick Cork
Neil Cugley is aiming to field the side which will start the season for Invicta in Tuesday’s home friendly with Ashford United at Cheriton Road.
James Everitt and Lee Gledhill – who were unavailable for this week’s 4-0 defeat by a strong and impressive Margate side at Hartsdown - both return while Roland Edge returns from holiday and should make his first appearance of this pre-season.
On the minus side, however, midfielder Darren Smith is now away for a fortnight and will miss Folkestone’s Ryman One opener at home to Worthing on August 18.
“We were a bit short at Margate – and it showed”, Cugley freely admitted, adding “With Ratty and Gleds both missing we didn’t have a right back and I think all of their four goals came through there.”
And there’s more very good news concerning the vastly experienced Gledhill – the former Metropolitan Police and Maidstone United defender.
“When I signed Gleds for this season it was on the basis that he wouldn’t be available every week, but he’s sorted out all his shifts for the next month or so and should be okay for all our early league and cup matches.”
That is reassuring for supporters after their side looked alarmingly vulnerable at times against a numerically and physically strong Margate outfit who were 3-0 ahead in little more than half an hour and could have added more than the one further goal that they scored in the second period.
Meanwhile boss Cugley confirmed Richard Atkins’ loan arrangement with Simon Austin’s Kent Premier Division Canterbury City.
He said: “Richard’s at the age where he needs to be playing regularly and at the moment he wouldn’t get into our first choice eleven.
“It’s an arrangement that suits all parties. We’ll review it at the end of September and see where we go from there.”
Atkins’ absence will mean that fit-again striker Paul Jones will start on Tuesday and everyone who knows the once prolific Ashford Town striker will be hoping that the likeable forward is about of experience a long-overdue change of luck after an injury-stricken 18 months or more.
“Jonesey has worked very hard on his fitness and really deserves a bit of luck after being out so long” said the manager speaking this morning, Friday. “He’ll definitely start against Ashford.”
Mark Towse will probably make way for Edge’s return after being a near ever-present in the pre-season games so far. “He’s trained hard and like two or three others will be trying to force his way into the team.”
That includes youth team striker Ryan ‘Vinnie’ Philpott whose energy and enthusiasm have quickly made him a favourite with supporters.
“He’s done well and he’s a confident lad” said Cugley. “We worked on our shooting in training last night and Ryan was very much involved. He is a nice addition to have in the squad.”
Another highly promising youngster, Rowan Williams, has also impressed but Cugley says that Invicta will take things carefully with a player who is “only just 16” and who is expected to figure regularly for the under 18s in the Kent Youth League.
Injured wing-back/midfielder Josh Vincent is still awaiting the results of a scan on his groin/hernia problem and is itching to return once he gets the clearance from the medics.
After facing Kent Invicta League Ashford United – managed by former Invicta legend Paul Chambers – on Tuesday, Folkestone entertain Tommy Warrilow’s Blue Square South outfit Tonbridge Angels on August 11, seven days before the big Ryman One kick-off.
“We’re getting things sorted out both on and off the pitch now and I for one can’t wait to get started” said a very upbeat Cugley.