Around 40 supporters attended last evenings Meet the Manager / Chairman event at the Clubhouse, the first such meeting since the Ward Brothers were unveiled as the Clubs new managers a little over three weeks ago.
Gary (Johnson), Chairman opened the meeting welcoming all in attendance before formally introducing both Jim & Danny previously known to many; in turn they unveiled their appointees to their football management team – Will Graham (First Team Coach & Youth Development Officer), Antonio de Vivo (U21 Manager), Stewart Wickham (U18 Coach) together with Ada (Adrian Hubbard – Kitman).
Whilst the Club have had a number of applicants for next seasons U18s Manager, as yet there has been no appointment & further interested parties are still welcome to apply as indeed are persons with appropriate coaching qualifications to aid the U21 Player Development pool along with two Physio / Sports Therapists (one maybe a training position suitable for a 2nd year candidate whom requires practical & hands on hours as part of their continued training under the supervision of the Club) – Interested parties should apply to firstname.lastname@example.org )
The evening was split into two halves, as is customary for a football match (!!) during which time both Jim & Danny Ward gave their vision & stated objective to simply exceed the Clubs previous best Ryman League position (14th), but make no mistake the Wards (like the Chairman) have a strong desire to win.
Questions from the fans included football matters, structure, sponsorship & club finance along with PR / Media matters – comprehensively fielded by Jim, Danny & Gary.
Throughout the evening there were smiles and laughter a plenty with an undercurrent of optimism; whilst the Wards initially may not have been every fans choice for the position they have certainly broken down the barriers with a number of fresh and quality signings – such as Ian Pulman, Ryan Golding, Luke Girt, Ollie Gray, Nick Treadwell, Connor Heffernan, Ashley Ulph & Kane Rowland complimenting those selected from last year’s team Luke Watkins, Scott Heard & Jake Mackenzie together with some exciting new and talented young players; sadly two players from last season whom services the club were wanting to stay were & both fans favorites – Laurence Harvey & Joe Kane have opted to move to Hythe & Lordswood respectively. Harvey contacted the Club Chairman (Gary Johnson) to explain his reasons saying ‘thank you to the Club & supporters, I very much enjoyed my time at Whitstable. I won’t be a stranger. Thanks & best wishes’
The Wards are now only waiting on one final piece to the jigsaw from last season’s team, the much in demand Aaron Simpson for whom a decision is expected later in the week.
During & after the meeting the Wards and their team had plenty of time for the fans gathered as did players Simon Pettit & Ian Pulman whom both mad a huge impact with their presence through the evening.
Its fair to say that there is once again a renewed optimism that after years of struggling in the Ryman League that maybe, just maybe, some improvement this year may at last be made – time of course will tell.
Fans were thanked for their attendance & reminded about Season Tickets, Watch England’s World Cup games in the Clubhouse (save the first one v. Italy as there is already a function booked), with pre-season games still to be announced for which the website will confirm in due course.
One fan contacted the Club this morning stating ‘terrace feedback from last night is favorable…….the Club looks more positive in outlook’