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CUGS HOPES FOR LOAN SIGNING BUT MEV AND JOE LIKELY TO MISS LEAGUE OPENER AWAY TO MUCH-CHANGED ENFIELD

Invicta boss Neil Cugley is hoping to bring in a defender on loan ahead of his side’s opening day Bostik Premier Division game at Enfield Town this coming weekend.

Folkestone look almost certain to be without striker Joe Taylor (right) and midfield general Micheal Everitt for the trip to north London and Cugley was already looking for defensive cover before Everitt picked up a groin strain in his side’s final warm-up game against Thamesmead last weekend.

Taylor damaged his knee in the 4-1 win at Ashford a couple of weeks ago and his manager admitted: “It looks like the Enfield game is too soon for us to expect him back.

Defender

“The way the fixtures go, the games come thick and fast early in the season but we can’t risk pushing Joe back too soon.

“I’m hoping to sign a defender on loan in the next few days which will allow Kwebs (Osei) to play in the midfield, at least until Mevs (Everitt) is back.”

Osei – a close season signing from Grays Athletic has already impressed both at the back alongside the excellent Callum Davies and also in the middle of the park where his physical presence alone is a bonus to the way that Cugley’s side have played. 

The absence of Everitt (left) will rob Folkestone of their most experienced player whose return this season is still a very big boost to the squad, bringing back a player with well over 600 games behind him for his home town club.

Jordan Wright missed the Thamesmead clash and does not return until two days before the Enfield game meaning that a start on the bench looks the likeliest option for Invicta’s three-times young player of the year.

Upheaval

If some Folkestone fans reckoned their club has been in upheaval over the summer, Saturday’s hosts Enfield Town put them in the shade in terms of close season changes.

Their squad that beat Barton Rovers of Screwfix Southern League East 4-0 in their last warm up game included not even one of that which beat Invicta 3-1 at The Queen Elizabeth Stadium last East Saturday!

Manager Bradley Quinton left and took half of the Enfield squad with him to Braintree with two of those players, Scott Shulton and much-admired attacking midfielder Billy Crook, scored for ‘The Iron’ as they came back from 2-0 down after 20 minutes to beat hosts Eastbourne Borough 3-2 in National League South last weekend.

Radar

Enfield’s win over Folkestone last Easter included goals from Dernell Wynter – one of those now at Braintree – and Harry Ottaway, a played that Invicta tried to sign last season, who appears, at present to have dropped off the radar.

Their opening goal came from big defender Mark Kirby, who missed last weekend’s game.

Fans may remember that, after going two down in the first half, Folkestone seemed out of it at Enfield when Wynter increased the home side’s lead a minute or two into the second period before Joe Taylor – who was perhaps unlucky to be the only scapegoat following the previous week’s abysmal 2-1 home defeat by Hendon – came off the bench at half-time scoring one goal and then, along with Micheal Everitt, scrambling the ball into the net only to have that second goal very harshly disallowed.

At that time, Invicta had all the momentum and looked more than capable to salvaging something from the game, but thankfully two days later beat Tonbridge in that crucial Easter Monday derby which was so vital in our fight to stay in the Premier Division.

New manager Andy Leese was brought in to the QE Stadium in June after 11 years with Chesham United, bringing with him midfielders Sam Youngs and Ryan Blake as well as signing experienced ex-Canvey Island striker Simon Thomas and the equally well travelled Drew Roberts, both now in their early 30s.

Name

Perhaps the best known name signed during the summer, however, is former Premiership centre back Darren Purse (right), now 40, known for his time at Birmingham City, West Brom and Cardiff City who is now Town’s assistant manager.

Other players that Folkestone have encountered in the last few  years are one time Tottenham starlet Mario Noto (from Harlow Town and ex-Chelmsford City), Kosovan midfielder Kreshnic Krasniqi (then of Billericay), and Steve Wales (ditto, Wingate & Finchley).

Folkestone's first home league game is against old rivals Merstham at the Fullicks Stadium next Tuesday, August 15th (ko 7.45pm)