Feast your fes­tive eyes on part one of the KM Group’s review of the year which in­cludes a change of man­ager at Gills, New Year’s Honours, bro­ken records, play-off drama and world cham­pi­ons


Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Sport Starts Here -

sacked Justin Ed­in­burgh (pic­tured) on Jan­uary 3 fol­low­ing a 1-0 home de­feat against Ox­ford, leav­ing them 17th in League 1 af­ter pick­ing up just one point from the three fes­tive games. Chair­man Paul Scally said: “I have been keen to work with Justin and his coach­ing staff, I have be­come close friends with them over the past two years and that is what makes this de­ci­sion even harder. I have great re­spect for them and ev­ery­thing they have done for the club.” For­mer player Ady Pen­nock was given the job un­til the end of the sea­son.

Town striker Al­fie May earned him­self a dream move into the Foot­ball League. May had tri­als at Gilling­ham and Steve­nage but joined Don­caster Rovers on a two-and-a-half-year deal when the trans­fer win­dow opened. He was pro­lific dur­ing 18 months at Reach­fields and went on to play for Don­caster against Arse­nal at the Emi­rates. May said: “I try to get to Hythe a lot and I’ll al­ways sup­port them. They’ll al­ways be in my heart. When Don­caster made a bid, it seemed like it was all go­ing to fall into place be­cause the club and (man­ager) Clive Cook wanted the best for me.

Walker was un­veiled as Kent’s new head coach to suc­ceed Jimmy Adams and said in­still­ing a win­ning men­tal­ity was his most im­por­tant job. Walker, 43, claimed af­ter his ap­point­ment that the news hadn’t quite sunk in, adding: “It seems mad. In 1992, when I started out on this jour­ney, the thought that I might be head coach here all these years later. It’s hard to sink in at the mo­ment. “The chal­lenge is to make the team be­lieve we can win. I don’t know if that’s been in place for a num­ber of years.”

Hockey Club star Su­san­nah Townsend was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours af­ter help­ing GB women to a his­toric gold medal in a dra­matic Rio fi­nal in Au­gust. The 27-year-old Can­ter­bury star (pic­tured) said: “Ev­ery­one’s cel­e­brat­ing com­ing into 2017 but I don’t want to say good­bye to 2016. “It’s pretty amaz­ing for me per­son­ally but for ev­ery­one in­volved in hockey, it’s a mas­sive hon­our.” Can­ter­bury Ladies fin­ished the month by los­ing in the fi­nal of the na­tional in­door cham­pi­onships for the sec­ond year run­ning. ski­ing sen­sa­tion Mil­lie Knight de­scribed claim­ing Para-alpine World Cham­pi­onship glory in a dra­matic week in Italy was be­yond her wildest dreams. The vis­ually im­paired Can­ter­bury skier and guide Brett Wild stormed to gold in the down­hill in Tarvi­sio and fol­lowed it up with sil­ver medals in the su­per com­bined, gi­ant slalom and slalom events. The King’s School stu­dent bat­tled back to fit­ness af­ter a mys­tery ill­ness last au­tumn and ad­mit­ted: “World cham­pion, it sounds pretty good. Four months ago I would never have dreamed I would be able to say that.”

won a dra­matic play-off fi­nal to clinch pro­mo­tion to the Na­tional League af­ter four sea­sons of try­ing. They racked up 96 points in the reg­u­lar sea­son but were pipped to the ti­tle by Maiden­head and then had An­thony Cook sent off just be­fore half-time in the fi­nal. Daryl Mcma­hon’s side were star­ing down the bar­rel when Ba­gasan Gra­ham gave Chelms­ford the lead but Fleet re­fused to ac­cept what would have been their third play-off fi­nal de­feat in four years. Dave Win­field headed them level be­fore Dar­ren Mcqueen scored the goal which se­cured a place back in non­league’s top flight. Man­ager Daryl Mcma­hon said: “Last sea­son ended cru­elly (los­ing to Maid­stone on penal­ties) but ev­ery­one in­volved at the foot­ball club has showed great char­ac­ter to come back and go through what we’ve done now. “Get­ting 96 points, when we’d have prob­a­bly walked the league in most years, to re­group again and come through and win with 10 men, it’s an in­cred­i­ble story.”

Hill hosted its last FIA World Ral­ly­cross Cham­pi­onship round af­ter or­gan­is­ers de­cided to move the event to Sil­ver­stone. A record crowd of 25,000 peo­ple watched Nor­we­gian Pet­ter Sol­berg claim vic­tory in his VW Polo, beat­ing team­mate Jo­han Kristof­fers­son and Andreas Bakkerud. Cir­cuit owner Pat Do­ran vowed to fight to get the Ge­orge Kennedy ad­mit­ted it was a “bit of an em­bar­rass­ment” that Al­lan Don­ald would not be able to take up his coach­ing post at Kent due to visa is­sues. The South Africa pace leg­end was named as as­sis­tant to Matt Walker in Jan­uary but won’t be granted a visa to coach in Eng­land un­til he meets the ECB cri­te­ria of a Level 3 coach­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tion. Mr Kennedy said: “It’s a bit of an em­bar­rass­ment. He’s cer­tainly not start­ing from scratch, he’s work­ing to­wards (the qual­i­fi­ca­tion). pres­ti­gious event back but said de­lays in gain­ing plan­ning per­mis­sion to de­velop the cir­cuit had not helped. He said: “I am not go­ing to let the plan­ning sit­u­a­tion beat us – there has got to be a happy medium where ev­ery­one is happy. “I am a great be­liever in fate and I think it will turn out best in the end. “We are go­ing to have to fight even harder now to get the world cham­pi­onship back.”

United an­nounced they would be sign­ing Dover’s star striker Ricky Miller when his con­tract ex­pired in the sum­mer. Miller (pic­tured) scored 42 goals in 43 games for the Whites as Chris Kin­n­ear’s side just missed out on the play-offs. Days af­ter the Na­tional League sea­son fin­ished, it was an­nounced that the striker would be join­ing the League 1 club. Posh di­rec­tor of foot­ball, Barry Fry, told the press that he tried to buy Miller in Jan­uary but the Dover chair­man and man­ager did not re­turn his calls. He signed a three-year con­tract with the club but missed the first

” six games of the sea­son af­ter be­ing banned by the FA for bit­ing.

Boyne de­scribed Can­ter­bury HC’S 6-1 de­feat in the Na­tional Cup fi­nal against Read­ing at Lee Val­ley as ‘an em­bar­rass­ment.’ Three goals in the fi­nal 10 min­utes gave the score a lop-sided look but skip­per Boyne ad­mit­ted his side had been sec­ond-best. He said: “It was great to have got there. We played our best hockey the week be­fore in the rel­e­ga­tion play­offs. There was no pres­sure on us this week­end but we didn’t do enough – it was dis­ap­point­ing.”

chair­man Paul Scally gave Ady Pen­nock the go-ahead to con­tinue as head coach while bring­ing in for­mer boss Peter Tay­lor as di­rec­tor of foot­ball. Pen­nock said: “I am happy to have got the job and I am look­ing for­ward to work­ing with Peter. “He was my man­ager in 2000 when we got pro­mo­tion and his ex­pe­ri­ence and con­tacts are in­valu­able. “I know him, trust him and that is im­por­tant.”

World ral­ly­cross ac­tion at Ly­d­den Ady Pen­nock

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