Crunch time for Cu­g­ley

Ju­nior rugby

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Football - by Alex Birch

THE MID-TO-LATE 2008 Folke­stone In­victa era will come to close on Satur­day, when the first team con­vene to­gether for the last time to take on Corinthian-Ca­su­als at the Buz­zlines Sta­dium.

Man­ager Neil Cu­g­ley has ad­mit­ted that af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle, the squad will have a few beers and shake hands, be­fore many of them walk out of the ground for the fi­nal time.

Cu­g­ley will re­main, how­ever, to pick up the pieces be­fore the club’s trip to Cray on Tues­day.

How many of the team that start on Satur­day will then run out at Hayes Lane on Tues­day is any­ones guess.

“I’m de­lighted that the play­ers have de­cided to all play on Satur­day,” Cu­g­ley said. “Since the news about the club’s prob­lems came out we haven’t had a chance to get to­gether. Satur­day will give us that chance, so we can prop­erly bring the cur­tain down on this short era of the

club.

“Its pleas­ing that I’ll be able to put out a strong side, and hope­fully we’ll be able to put on a good show and win the game.

“Af­ter that, most of the play­ers will be off to other clubs. You can’t blame them for that. They’ve got to earn some money and that’s not pos­si­ble here at the mo­ment.”

In prepa­ra­tion for the large hole set to be left in terms of play­ing per­son­nel, Cu­g­ley ran his eye over a cast of first team hope­fuls dur­ing a 2-1 friendly win against Herne Bay on Tues­day evening.

Many of the faces on show could find them­selves in the start­ing line-up on Tues­day, as Folke­stone try to stop what could be an in­evitable slide from pro­mo­tion hope­fuls to Ry­man League Divi­sion 1 South also-rans.

“From Sun­day on­wards things are go­ing to be dif­fer­ent,” Cu­g­ley said. “We’ll be try­ing to set the foun­da­tions for a new start. I’ll be talk­ing to some of the lo­cal play­ers, in­clud­ing some of the re­serves who played well on Tues­day.”

As far as the man­ager’s own sit­u­a­tion is con­cerned, al­though he has been left shocked by the events of the past week, he is will­ing to bat­tle on.

“I was very shocked and dis­ap­pointed when I re­ceived the news about the club’s prob­lems on Thurs­day morn­ing,” Cu­g­ley said. “It came com­pletely out of the blue. The board agreed a bud­get for me at the start of the sea­son that would al­low us to com­pete for a play-off place.

“Al­though that sit­u­a­tion has changed and it doesn’t look good at the mo­ment, I will be stay­ing for the fore­see­able fu­ture as I think of my­self as a loyal per­son, and in my 12 years at the club, Folke­stone have been loyal to me.”

Sadly it is the sec­ond time that Folke­stone could lose their se­nior club to fi­nan­cial prob­lems.

The rise of In­victa through the ranks of the lower di­vi­sions to take up the man­tle left by Folke­stone Town was out­stand­ing and sup­port­ers will be hop­ing the club can sur­mount this set­back.

In­victa face melt­down - re­port on on page 1

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