Its been already been a busy close season at The Havill Stadium – Holm Park with yesterdays announcement of new assistant manager Nick Davis joining us and we are equally pleased to announce that both Rob Denness and Conrad Lee have agreed terms to join the Ites for the forthcoming season.
Rob Denness is a powerful striker who has previously been at Greenwich Borough and Hollands & Blair whilst Conrad Lee is versatile defender who has played for Phoenix Sports and Sittingbourne in the Bostik League.
We spoke to both Rob and Conrad and here’s what they had to say :
Having played against The Ites what was your impression on our pitch and stadium?
I’ve always been very impressed with the set up at The Ites. The facilities are superb and the pitch has always been like a carpet. It’s defiantly one of the best surfaces I’ve played on.
I’m really looking forward to playing football here!
And the fans here at The Havill Stadium – Holm Park?
The fans really get behind the team! The crowd numbers are fantastic, it is important for a club to have this support, as a good crowd grows so does the club and it’s success! I am really passionate about football and had been fortunate enough to still be playing. Hopefully The fans will enjoy my performances and the teams!
What are your thoughts for the forthcoming pre-season games lined up?
Pre-season we have some good games lined up, against teams in the higher division. These games will give Ernie, Nick and fans an opportunity to look at the side before the season starts.
I’m looking forward to playing Gills and Greenwich Borough (previous club). Pre-season is all about getting minutes under your belt in preparation for the start of the season.
It’s an exciting prospect having Dan Bradshaw and yourself leading the front line with quality players such as Remmell Davis and Luke Girt behind you. How do you feel the squad will fair in this campaign?
After speaking to Ernie about his ambition for this season and going forward, I think that we have a good squad. Having the quality of players above will cause teams big problems.
I’ve come to the club for success and we will want to win as many games as possible. If we take each game as it comes we will have a good chance of competing for the league!
Golden boot – Bradshaw or Denness?
Good question! I always score my fair few goals in any team I play in but I’m also someone who likes to provide. I’m confident that with Bradshaw playing alongside me we will
score more goals together. But for me it’s always been about the team winning games!
What was the deciding factor to come to SUFC?
I have to say the deciding factor on me signing for Sheppey would be my conversation with Ernie and his desire to win and get the club onto the next level
What players from the current squad have you played with in the past?
From the current squad I’ve played with Jono, Hicham, Tom Brunt, Kwasi, Remell …. so I’ve played with a few of the squad and know how we can play together
Cup run or league focus?
I’d have to say for me personally would be league focus. I mean it would be fantastic to go on a good cup run but for me it’s the league
What were you impressions of The Havill Stadium – Holm Park set up at Sheppey United FC?
My first impressions of seeing The Havill Stadium I must say left me speechless. Some clubs in higher leagues don’t come close to it especially with how the pitch looks it’s amazing
Our attendances both home and away is unrivalled at this level. Are you looking forward to playing in front of the fans?
Of course I am. From what I’ve heard so far are the fans are amazing and I’m looking to be a fan favourite 😁 and have a few songs I hope
A very warm welcome to both players.
Off the field things have also been full steam ahead with more new sponsors onboard and match day sponsorship packages already being reserved in the commercial department.
The upstairs Gallery Bar and facilities is in the middle of a refurbishment in readiness for the start of the main season and plans are already in place for fundraising for this seasons new nominated charity The Ites Foundation.
“Paul and I were talking about plans for the forthcoming season and how the past 2 seasons had been successful in our chosen charities being The Dannyboy Trust and Building Smiles. Our club ethos is From the Community – For The Community, so we felt it was a good idea to establish our own foundation where we can help other sports groups on the Island”. Said Chairman Matt Smith.
“We hope we can in some small way distribute whatever we raise to other youth sports clubs on the Island be it Cricket, Rugby, Golf etc. What we can do to bring all sport for the youth of the Island together then that can only be a good thing. We hope our supporters get behind the foundation, dig nice and deep and get onboard with our fund raising and collections throughout the season” says Commercial Director Paul Rogers.
We will bring you more news as it comes.
We are delighted to announce that Nick Davis joins us as assistant manager to Ernie Batten for the new campaign. Nick brings a wealth of experience to The Havill Stadium – Holm Park having been with many Kent clubs in his career and as Sittingbourne manager up until the end part of last season having spent the past 6 years with the Brickies as both a player and manager.
We caught up with Nick at The Havill Stadium – Holm Park.
Welcome to Sheppey United FC. What was the deciding factor to join The Ites?
The foundations, set up and structure is already in place. The ambition from Ernie and Matt was refreshing and exciting and the fan base is something that makes it unique and very appealing.
What are the early plans for Ernie and yourself in terms of the pre-season and forming the new squad for the forthcoming season?
Ernie has been working hard to improve the squad and since I have come onboard have also been on the phone constantly. We are still looking for 3/4 new additions as well as the majority of last years squad agreeing to stay on. We have a plan of how we want to play and formation to implement and we have 8 sessions and 7 friendlies to work on this before the season begins.
Have there been any targets set as yet for the season?
I’m sure the fans would like a nice cup run or two and we hope that’s the case. For Ernie and Myself promotion would take preference. It it’s going to be a tough ask but one we will do our best to achieve.
How do you see your role in the development of the club?
I will try and assist Ernie and help to bridge the gap from mid table finish last season to a side competing at the top of the table.
Our stadium and facilities are among the best in Kent non-league. What were your impressions of it?
Extremely impressed and was a major factor for me accepting the position.
We have a huge following with match attendances and supporters who are very vocal. Do you think that can help push us on?
It can help of-course and it will be key for us this coming season both home and away. We will also have to deal with the fact of some sides upping their game in-front of our supporters on an immaculate playing surface.
We would like to thank both Barry Morgan and Geoff Record for their consistant hard work and loyalty at the club. Barry has taken up the vacant managers role at Rochester United and Geoff has decided to take a short break from football in the short term
We wish them both well for the future.
We will shortly be releasing full details with the first 2 new signings at the club in Conrad Lee and Rob Denness.
So what do I know about Croydon ? Well a few famous people have lived there, David Bowie, Ronnie Corbett, the Great Dane Bowers, Woy Hodgson, bonkers artist Tracy Emin, Kirsty Macoll and popular beat Grime artist Stormzy. I used to see a girl who lived near there until she had a restraining order put on me and I’ve worked at Croydon East train station, which is massive. With this in mind I was clearly excited about Saturday’s game, plus the fact that I’d willingly agreed to have a go at dry January meant the day should be interesting. Well it was.
My quip last week about Trey waltzing out the door never to be seen again seemed rather unprophetic as there he was turning out for Croydon against us, as his self appointed agent I felt a little let down I wasn’t party to any negotiations but that’s football I guess.
Talking of which, Sheppey amazingly kept the same starting eleven from last week, a feat worthy of the three points alone you’d think, Croydon clearly didn’t.
The game kicked off just about the same time I ended my gallant attempt at dry January, Croydon decked in what looked like a Coventry kit had a centre forward the spitting image of Peter Ndlovu (google him kids), a great player who left Coventry a week before Terry Phelan left, prompting the song ” you’ve lost Ndlovu and Phelan, woah Ndlovu and Phelan” ( another Google kids). Anyway, Ndlovu and his forward mate both looked very decent up front, ironically the other Croydon had two great forwards, makes me wonder if they just swap attackers similar to Fred and Rose West. Both were proving as elusive as my willpower early on, making diagonal runs and at times the home defence were finding them harder to pick up than the Chairmans wallet, the young midfielder supplying the ammunition early on should have given the defence an early warning, well if it did no one took any notice as the young lad, fresh from his paper round found Ndlovu 25 yards out, the defence gave him more room than Abu Hamza at pass the parcel let fly with a shot that found the bottom corner 1-0. By this time Sheppey weren’t in the game and looked as potent as Pele after a couple of beers so it was no surprise when Croydon doubled their lead. This time a crisp move led to the other forward with enough time and space to slot the ball home with a finish Cynthia Payne would be proud of 2-0.
Finally Sheppey turned up to the party, a couple of tackles won, Bradshaw playing wide right started getting the ball and asking questions, our first chance fell to the Colonel who somehow found himself with only the keeper to beat, he didn’t. Remmell and LHO started to look threatening and the midfield, again missing Burke and Hare the comedy villains started to get a foothold. First Remmel flashed a chance wide, then the Shrewsbury shifter got behind the defence but drew a decent save, the pressure was mounting like a dog on heat, then Girt sends Clark away down the left, he delivers a superb cross that Bradshaw, who overtook Usain Bolt to get in the box and met the ball on the half volley giving the keeper less chance than Diane Abbott on countdown 1-2. As I’d earlier predicted to the other weirdo’s in the paddock at 2-0 down, there’s no better feeling than winning 3-2 after trailing, I know my stuff. The Visiting keeper who had looked more indecisive than a fat kid in Greggs then played his part, a cross came in, the keeper went for it, had a little juggle, dropped it at the colonels feet and for the second time he couldn’t miss, he didn’t 2-2. Sheppey now had their tails up, pushing on restricting the visitors chances and went in for their half time ovaltine level pegging.
The second half started, me again telling anyone that would listen ” we are a second half team”
Then out of the blue, the rock solid Jack Mahoney played a back pass that wrong footed the Colonel, Ndlovu’s mate pounced on it and beat the keeper with a low shot, 3-2, what a kick in the proverbials. Still plenty of time on the clock, the 274 crowd found its voices urging the team forward, a few half chances came and went, Croydon still looked dangerous on the break, a free kick from a fair way out was curled round the wall into the side netting, Sheppey were now going Gung Ho for the equaliser, Girt fizzed a long range effort wide, Hiccham went close. Time for a sub, on comes Timmy for LHO, I’d also predicted Timmy would score today, a few corners, one of which Ralphy got on the end of but suddenly their keeper looked like he knew what he was doing saved well, in a last ditch attempt, Easy E brings on young Coops for Mahoney and Froggatt for Brunt, the latter taking over step over duties from Trey but it was all to no avail, 3-2 to Croydon.
Another disappointing result, didn’t start playing until 2-0, however some decent football got them back in the game. Technically we are as good as anybody in this league and realistically with games in hand could still be pushing the top 6 but as I’ve said before when things aren’t going right we haven’t really got anyone to do the dirty work, a few crunching tackles to give the opponents something to remember, the dark arts. I’m lead to believe Ronnie and Reggie Batten are available next week , hopefully their absence will have made them hungrier and angrier than before. Glebe next week, it’ll be nice to see a few new faces at away games, give the boys some encouragement and get the revolution back on track.
Dan Bradshaw, started wide right but presses all over the pitch, he’s fitter than Jennifer Aniston, and his sheer work rate and will to win got us back in this game.
Sheppey United Get Their Kit Off!
Sheppey United FC are thrilled to back the Kit Aid charity which is a charity that recycles once loved football kits and distributes to underprivileged children and adults in some of the world’s poorest countries.
Non-League football fan Julian Chenery has been up and down the country collecting kits from hundreds of football clubs to help the project for many years now. “I saw Julian had been doing some advertising on Facebook asking if anyone had any old kits for the charity. I knew we had the remainder of last season’s kit and also quite a few kit bags full of old SUFC Kits at the club and got in touch with him” said Paul Rogers – Commercial Manager.
“I never realised just how much stuff we had. There must have been 5 or 6 complete kits along with old training bibs and some tracksuits. What struck me was Julian’s passion. Julian was coming to the club to collect everything I had bagged up and it was only on an email that I realised Julian doesn’t drive and would be making the journey over to the Island by train (from Croydon) and then buses. He would then have to cart all the heavy bags back on his own and out of his own pocket! – that shows you just how much this great charity means to him”
“We eventually arranged to meet at Sittingbourne station as he had arranged some other pick-ups in the area. We had a chat about the charity and how the old kits will go children in Africa. The children love any football kit and brings the local community and schools together and that’s exactly what our football club is about “from the community – for the community” it’s a perfect fit”.
Julian will keep the club and in turn we will keep our fans updated hopefully with some pictures of the children and young adults wearing the famous Ite’s shirts with pride. You can get more information on the charity at www.kitaid.net
We are delighted to announce the signing of midfielder Hicham Akhazzan for the 2017-18 season and welcome him to Sheppey United and The Havill Stadium – Holm Park.
Hicham has previously played at Chatham but more recently been ever present for our local rivals Sittingbourne FC where he has appeared over 400 times. At 28 years old, his experience from higher leagues and obvious talent will be a massive asset to this growing team.
“This is a another great signing for the club and one I have been chasing for a while now. Hicham always stood out and impressed me when ever I watched him play last season. He’s a tricky, very quick and very talented midfield player whom will grow in our team and nature of play” says Ernie Batten, Ites manager.
We will keep all Ites fans updated on more signings as they come in. Be the first in the know via our club newsletters – sign up today.
The Dannyboy Trust – the clubs nominated charity for last season – have received approximately £1225 from Sheppey United and its fans. The cheque was presented by Matt Smith to the Trust on our last home game of last season.
A massive thank you to our fans for supporting this wonderful charity last season.
For the 2017-18 season, our nominated charity is Building Smiles. Building Smiles is a charity for local clubs, groups and individuals who in difficult times could really do with a smile and create unforgettable memories. We hope to raise money for Building Smiles next season in the fantastic way we have The Dannyboy Trust last season.
Sheppey United are pleased to announce our new website which has been months in the planning.
The previous website was not mobile friendly and limited with what we could do with it. It became cumbersome to keep it updated and as a result, latest news has not been forthcoming to our supporters.
With the launch of our new website comes a commitment from us to keep it up to date and bring our supporters what they deserve; the latest club news when it’s “hot off the press”! On the website you will see you can register for our newsletter. This will see our latest news delivered straight to your mailbox so please register ASAP so you don’t miss a thing!
We hope that you enjoy discovering the new mobile friendly website and that you find it easy to navigate and pleasant to use. The content will continue to grow as we enter the new season.
My thanks go to Martin Eaves for creating some fantastic artwork, much of which will be uploaded to the website when pre-season gets underway. Matt Smith and Paul Rogers for their input and producing great content. Most of all, Shaun McCann for creating the new website and piecing it together. Shaun volunteered his services to the club during last season and we can’t thank him enough for the work he has put into developing it. We are pleased that Shaun will also continue his great work with the club as Webmaster.
So, what do you think? What are your first impressions? Hopefully you find the site easy to use, clean, and efficient. If you have experienced any problems, please go easy on us! It’s only to be expected that one or two things don’t work quite as expected. Let us know if you spot any typos, bugs, we are only human after all.
Up the Ites!
Mike Wood – Editorial Director
Official Club Announcement : New Principal Stadium Sponsor
The Havill Stadium – Holm Park
In conjunction with Paul Rogers our Commercial Manager the football club are delighted to announce that we welcome a new principal stadium sponsor for the forthcoming 2017-18 season.
Holm Park will be known as The Havill Stadium – Holm Park and we would like to take this opportunity to thank Lee Havill & HFS for their ongoing commitment to the football club. Lee is excited at the prospect of another great season ahead and to build on the success of last season in partnership with the football club. We would also like to thank our outgoing main sponsor Tiger Loans. Terry Dodd has supported the football club through its journey of Kent County League football and the club wish to put on record their thanks for this past 3 years relationship.
Season ticket and gate prices have been held at last year’s prices and our Commercial Manager will announce the dates season tickets will go on-sale to you our valued supporters. We are currently working on a brand new website which should be launched in the coming weeks and from here we shall be issuing newsletters which shall keep you the supporters up to date with player movements and all things Sheppey United FC. I hope like everyone here at the club you are getting a well earned rest and looking forward to the first pre-season friendly now only 7weeks away!!
Thank you as always for your continued support.
UP THE ITES