Club News 2016-2017
Hythe sign Campbell from Faversham......
Hythe Town are pleased to announce the signing of young winger Kieron Campbell from Faversham Town. Kieron has been a regular in the Lilywhites team this season having signed last year from Whitstable Town. He has also had a spell at Fisher.
Hythe sign Price...........
Hythe Town are pleased to announce the signing of midfielder Owen Price from Chatham Town. The 29 year old started the season at Greenwich Borough and had a varied career. He started as a youth team player at Charlton Athletic before moving to Tottenham Hotspur. He has also had spells in Scandinavian football in Sweden and Finland with GIf Sundsvaal and TPS from 2005-2008. He returned to the UK to play for Northwich Victoria before the first of two spells with Farnborough Town in 2009/11 before signing for Lewes in 2011- 2013. He has also been at Carshalton Athletic, Cray Wanderers and Erith Town.
Speaking to this website shortly after the Tooting game, Club Secretary Martin Giles sympathies lay with the diminishing number of Reachfields regulars who had turned up for the match.
There is no doubt at all that there have been some disappointing displays this season and that is for the manager and coaches to try to put right, he said. However the table does not lie and we are right up there in the play-off places and are the envy of a large number of clubs in our league as well as those just below us in the pyramid.
This season, despite us having enjoyed seeing the likes of Alfie May, we have had fewer people attending games especially those on Tuesday evenings. The attendance figure against second-placed Tooting--a large and traditional non-league name-- on a pleasant and calm January evening, was given as 180 and this was the number actually watching the game. This included a large number of players and parents from a Stars and Stripes Colts team who were our invited guests, as well as other league pass-holders, half a dozen player's guests, and anything up to 20 from Tooting. Frankly it beggars belief what the gate might have been against a Chipstead or a Godalming on a typical wet and windy winter's evening.
Hythe Town FC continues to benefit from personal and commercial sponsorship just as it did in the Tony Walton era, and for the last 6 years or so has competed at Level 4, challenging for Level 3 (Levels 1 and 2 are the National League which is full of ex- football league sides) so it is difficult to believe that we can do very much better than we have done.
The supporters who have attended have been great and are much appreciated by our Management and players, but we must reach out to those who follow our results, who say they will come along, but who fail to show up. It is they who we ask to consider if they could do more to help the club to continue to play at this level or even above.
Strangely and perhaps even unfairly, we must ask our current regulars to now play a greater part in helping us to bring some of our lapsed supporters back into the fold. The club will be exploring some promotional ideas but in the past these have only been really successful when free entry has been offered, and this is hardly a long-term answer. If any of you lovely regulars have any proposals or feel you might be interested in an open discussion I would be happy to put this to the Board and make our facilities available.
Hythe announce management team changes.........
Hythe Town manager Clive Cook has announced a reshuffle of his backroom staff. Assistant manager and coach, Will Graham, has regretfully had to step down due to the shift patterns required by his new job as a prison officer, which mean he would regularly not be available. Mark Lane resumes the Assistant Manager role in addition to his duties as Goalkeeping Coach.
Former Chatham Town Manager Darren Anslow rejoins Hythe Town as coach, a job he held for part of last season.
Clive Cook said, “I would like to thank Will for everything he has done here and wish him well. Also to welcome Darren, who is a highly qualified coach, back to Hythe Town. He has been running some training session recently when Will was unavailable and doing some in-match performance analysis for me. I also appreciate Laney finding the time to again be my assistant”.
Alfie May joins Doncaster Rovers
With the transfer window now open it is confirmed that Hythe Town FC’s prolific striker, Alfie May, has be sold to League Two promotion contenders Doncaster Rovers Football Club for an undisclosed fee. The 23-year-old has agreed a two-and-a-half year contract at the Keepmoat Stadium.
His final Ryman South game for Hythe was on New Year’s Eve when the Cannons were at home to Faversham Town in a 1-1 draw. Fans gave Alfie a rousing ovation when he came off at 60 minutes and bid him bon voyage after the game.
Hythe Town chairman, Paul Markland, said, “Alfie has been scoring plenty of goals and has been noticed by several football league clubs. Doncaster were keenest and, after a bit of negotiation, we settled on a deal that we are happy with, including a sell-on percentage. They were astute, but fair and professional, and didn’t play the big club-little club card. I am glad we have helped Alfie into a career as a professional footballer; I’m sure he will do well”.
Hythe have already signed former Maidstone striker Jay May, a cousin of Alfie’s, and Dean Grant from Faversham to lead their strike force as they continue to push for a Ryman South play-off place.
Clive Cook, Manager of Hythe Town added, “Alfie now has the opportunity to realise his dream to be a professional footballer and I know he will take it with both hands. He is a smashing lad, easy to manage, easy to get on with and thoroughly deserves to go into full time football. That’s what he wanted and that’s what he has got through hard work, talent, dedication and honesty.”
“Alfie came to Hythe Town 16 months ago after I became manager and the first thing that came to mind was what an incredible talent he has. He made 67 appearances for us scoring 49 goals, a fantastic return at any level of football.”
“I would like to thank Doncaster for giving Alfie the opportunity to realise his ambition. Also, I was pleased to have it confirmed that Football League sides do look at non-League players. My challenge now is to find the next Alfie May, a big ask but I know they are out there!”
Darren Ferguson, Manager of Doncaster Rovers, comment, “Alfie’s got good potential. There are a lot of things I like about him, mostly his attitude. He’s got an absolute desire to be player and that was the real thing for me. The level he’s been getting goals at is obviously nowhere near what he is coming into but he is a natural goal scorer.”
“He had a week with us in November which gave us a chance to look at him and him a chance to look at us. Hythe have been excellent in terms of managing his situation, and his manager has too, in terms of letting us do that“.
May was impressed by the players, staff and facilities at Doncaster and added, “From the minute I met the players, they came out their way to ask where I was from and introduce themselves. It made it so much easier and took a lot of weight off my shoulders. It is a big step, but I feel confident I can play in League Two and training every day will only improve me. I’ve done really well in non-league with Hythe Town, I’ve felt they’ve really got the best out of me, but working with Darren Ferguson as manager is different; I reckon he can get goals out of me too”.
Cannons sign Jay May......
Hythe Town are delighted to announce the high profile signing of 30 year old striker Jay May from Maidstone United. Jay, who had two spells with “The Stones”, was their leading scorer in the last two seasons. He spent some time with Billericay Town and Bromley in the Conference South. He has also had spells with Dartford and Ramsgate.
Manager, Clive Cook said “This is a huge signing for the club and gives us the opportunity to build further on our excellent start to the season.”
Jay will be in the squad for the FA Trophy tie against Walton Casuals on Saturday.
Alfie May going on trial at Stevenage....
We can announce that Alfie May will be going on a trial at League Two Stevenage next Monday and Thursday. He, however, will be free to play for us on Saturday and Tuesday. Along with their interest, we also have two other teams keen to take a look at the Hythe striker who has already scored 14 goals this season.
Chairman's update ..........................
With a break in our mid-week fixtures we‘ve time for some thoughts from Hythe Town FC’s Chairman, Paul Markland.
What a difference a year makes!
12 months ago Hythe Town had only four points from the first ten league games and was amongst the Ryman South relegation candidates. Who, then, would have predicted a fourth place finish to the 2015/16 season? New manager Clive Cook revamped the side and they delivered just that!
We are already 19 points further ahead compared with last year; exciting times, but I’m sure there will plenty of twists and turns to come.
Clive has assembled one of the strongest squads we have had at Hythe Town for many years and they have already racked up a fantastic 23 points from our first ten games. We are in the play-off zone, again occupying fourth place in the Ryman South, but this time with months available to climb even higher.
The league is much tighter so far this season with only four points separating the top five. A big well done to Clive and the lads.
Our friends and neighbours, Folkestone Invicta, clinched promotion last season in fine style as runaway Ryman South winners by 24 points over second place Dorking, with Hythe just three points behind Dorking at fourth place. If we had had our current ‘extra’ 19 points last year we would have been right on Invicta’s tail!! We may yet see the re-appearance of our much-missed ‘local derby’ Boxing Day fixture with Invicta next season!
You can make a difference too. How?
By creating a strong ’12th man’ on the terraces, encouraging the lads as they attack, cheering as they score, appreciating the good football on view and the solid defending that minimises the opposition’s goal opportunities. And if it’s cold or wet don’t cry off - there’s plenty of cover so please still turn up to add your support.
Also, please help by spreading the word about the attractive promotion-challenging football on their doorstep and by bringing along your family and friends to add their voices to our ‘12th man’. The next games at Reachfields are:
Tuesday 11th October Gillingham Kent Senior Cup
Saturday 22nd October Molesey League
Tuesday 25th October South Park League
Over the last couple of weeks there have been some changes to the playing staff here at Reachfields.
Coming into the squad is young midfielder Travis Jackson, who was at Whitstable Town last season. Also joining is ex Folkestone Invicta striker Richard Atkins who has signed from Tunbridge Wells, making his debut at Faversham on Tuesday night. Going the other way is Sam Welch who has left to join Sittingbourne.
Hythe Town sign keeper....
Hythe Town have signed ex Bromley keeper Paul Agu on a dual registration basis from Welling United to cover suspended Joe Mant.
Clive's New Season Update
Manager, Clive Cook gives his update at the start of the season.
Well, we are finally coming to an end of pre-season. Two more sessions this week and then we go as we embark into 2016/17 season with excitement but slight nerves (that’s a good thing) and a desire to do well for you and the football club.
It has been a busy pre-season with comings and goings. I would like at this stage to wish the players who have left us all the luck in the world and thank you for all your hard work over the time you have been with us. Also to the new boys-enjoy your stay here at Hythe Town, I hope you further develop yourselves as footballers. A big welcome to you all.
Just to confirm that Craig Cloke will be the new captain this season with David Cook his vice skipper.
The SQUAD for Season 2016/17
Joe Mant, Jamie Kelly
Craig Cloke, Nick Reeves, Josh Burchill, Ben Wilson, Dan Parkinson, Sam Welch, Keane Gillett
David Cook, Ryan Johnson, Chris Saunders, Sam Adams, Josh Algar, Louis Sprosen
Alfie May, Frankie Sawyer, Charlie Webster, Kenny Pogue
I hope you enjoy this season and let’s see how far we can go
Hood leaves for Tunbridge Wells.....
Young defender Connor Hood has left the club to join Southern Counties East Tunbridge Wells on a dual registration basis. We wish Connor every success for the future.
The results for Pre Season 2015-2016 are as follows:
The games are:
Saturday 9th July 2016 - Bearsted 1 Hythe Town 2 (OG, Mahoney)
Saturday 16th July 2016 - Lancing 0 Hythe Town 0
Tuesday 19th July 2016 - Hythe Town 2 Kennington 0 (Pogue, May)
Saturday 23rd July 2016 - Hythe Town 2 AFC Hornchurch 1 (Adams, Webster)
Tuesday 26th July 2016 - Ashford United 2 Hythe Town 3 (May, Sawyer, Morrish)
Saturday 30th July 2016 - Sheppey United 1 Hythe Town 3 (Sawyer, May, Reeves)
Tuesday 2nd August 2016 - Hythe Town 8 Margate XI 0 (May 4, Reeves 2, Pogue, Sawyer)
Saturday 6th August 2016 - Hythe Town 2 Folkestone Invicta 2 (Adams, May)
James Morrish leaves for AFC Hornchurch
As the club is going through changes on the pitch during pre-season, we are sad to announce that last year’s team captain James Morrish has left Hythe Town to join one of his former clubs, AFC Hornchurch. James made his debut on 23rd November 2013 in the 3-0 home win against Burgess Hill Town following his transfer from Whitstable Town. He went on to play 123 times scoring 15 goals for the Cannons. His first goal came on 15th March 2014 at home to Worthing. James played his first game for AFC Hornchurch in their 1-0 defeat at Leatherhead on Saturday.
We all wish James every success for the future with AFC Hornchurch and thank him for his time with Hythe.
Leadership Changes at Hythe Town....................
Hythe Town Football Club have announced a number of additions and changes to their off-pitch leadership team in readiness for the new season.
Three new Vice-Presidents have been appointed in recognition of their services to the club. They are John Dowsett and David Skeel, both former chairmen, and Gary Staniforth who has decided to step down as as a a director to make way for others with more time. All three will continue to be active at the club.
The club has also appointed two Associate Directors, Andy Short (Communications) and Ted Malpass (Commercial). They will continue to attend board meetings alongside existing directors Martin Giles (Football Secretary and Match-day operations), Tony Zapp (Finance) and Barry Vincer (Infrastructure).
Mark Jenner joins the Hythe Town FC board as a director. He has deep experience of non-league football and has been Chairman of Ashford Town and Folkestone Invicta.
The club are looking to bring in another businessman to further strengthen the board following the resignation of supporters’ representative Andrew Johnson. They are also seeking someone to fill this role as an Associate Director.
Hythe Town Chairman Paul Markland, who has overseen the changes, commented, “We are an ambitious club so it is important we bolster our senior off-pitch team to mirror the improvements manager Clive Cook and his staff continue to make on the footballing front.”
Links with club and Stars & Stripes to grow .............
The links between the Hythe Stars and Stripes and the Senior club are set to become far stronger in the coming months. Clive Cook has been monitoring Harry Carr's progress following recent injury problems and there is a standing invitation to join the squad just as soon as he is fit. Meanwhile Alistair Griggs, who has also come through the youth section has been training with the seniors and seems set to figure in pre-season games.
There have been talks between senior members of each section's administration with a view to working together more closely and one new innovation is already in place. Each of the junior teams will be invited to two Reachfields matches "en-bloc" during the season together with coaches and parents etc. The junior section will manage these invitations and the chosen games although Cup matches will be excluded from the promotion.
It is expected that other announcements will be made as the season progresses.
Hythe Town re-sign Ryan Johnson......
Clive Cook has announced that Ryan Johnson has rejoined the club from Ryman Division One South new boys, Greenwich Borough. The midfielder played 17 times last season before moving on. Speaking to Kent Online, Clive said "He phoned me last Friday and said he was thinking about moving on from Greenwich. He spoke very highly of Greenwich but he wanted to come back to his roots so I brought him back yesterday."
"He was brilliant for us in the 17 games he played. I was gutted when we lost him and I’m very pleased to bring him back to the football club."
"He’s a very good footballer and a smashing lad. He wants to play and that’s a big thing for me. He wants to play football, he just puts the ball down and plays."
Hythe add five new signings
The club are pleased to announce that there have been five new signings over the past two days.
Firstly, experienced striker Kenny Pogue has joined us from Eastbourne Town. Kenny is a prolific striker who spent a lot of his career at Hastings United before going to Eastbourne at the start of last season.
Also joining is experienced midfielder Sam Adams, who is a versatile player who comes to us from Hastings United where he has spent most of his career.
Midfielder, Charlie Webster has also signed from Tonbridge Angels along with Dan Parkinson who comes to us from Herne Bay.
Finally Chris Saunders, another midfielder, has joined from Ashford United.
Keep an eye on the website for any more signings.
FA Announce 2016-2017 League Allocations
The FA have today (Thursday 12th May 2016) announced the make up of non league at steps 1-4.
Joining the Division One (South) are Lewes (relegated from the Premier Division), Godalming Town (transferring back from the Southern League), Cray Wanderers (transferring back from Ryman North) and promoted clubs Greenwich Borough (from the Southern Counties East) and Horsham (from the Southern Combination.)
There is no reprieve for Walton & Hersham. Whitstable Town or Peacehaven & Telescombe who are all relegated to step 5.
The clubs competing in Ryman Division One (South) for 2016-2017 are Carshalton Athletic, Chatham Town, Chipstead, Corinthian Casuals, Cray Wanderers, Dorking Wanderers, East Grinstead Town, Faversham Town, Godalming Town, Greenwich Borough, Guernsey, Hastings United, Herne Bay, Horsham, Hythe Town, Lewes, Molesey, Ramsgate, Sittingbourne, South Park, Three Bridges, Tooting & Mitcham United, Walton Casuals and Whyeleafe.
End Of Season Presentation Evening
All current members of the squad attended the Presentation Night at the clubhouse which also included a Buffet and Disco.
Player of the Month awards were received by Dave Cook, Alfie May, Craig Cloke, Joe Mant, Nick Reeves and Connor Hood.
The 'Players' Player of the Season' was awarded to Josh Burchell and the 'Supporters' Player of the Season' award was shared by Joe Mant and Alfie May.
The website trophy this year was awarded for 'Goal of the Season' and this went to Ben Wilson for that fantastic last minute winner at Whyteleafe. The 'Chairman's Award' went to Clive Cook, who in turn nominated the entire squad for the 'Manager's Player of the Year' trophy.
Sundry awards were also presented by the players to Clive and to Kit Man Andy Payne. Finally Andy then made presentations to Craig Cloke, James Morrish and Josh Burchell who all passed 100 games for the club during the season.
Both the Secretary and the Chairman made mention of the many helpers who have assisted the club throughout the season and Paul Markland's notes also included reference to the way that, despite a disappointing last two matches, the team had brought the club up to fourth in the league table after staring possible relegation in the face at the start of October.