HERNE BAY manager Sam Denly has expressed his excitement ahead of the Kent club’s Ryman League Division One South season opener against local rivals Sittingbourne, writes James Beeson.
With his side upsetting the odds and pushing for a play-off place last season before falling away towards the end of the campaign, Denly is optimistic of challenging in the next few months.
“We finished ninth and it was a very good season for us,” he said. “Again, we want to be competing in the division and not looking over our shoulders.
“We’re definitely looking at mid-table and above. With the quality of the squad we’ve got, there’s no reason we can’t compete with the very best in this division.”
“We’ve got a lot of quality and experience throughout, but I’m also really excited about the youngsters we’ve got coming through who are going to get opportunities.
“Elliot Cutts is one; he’s just had a trial with Middlesbrough and was excellent for us the other night. He’s ready to play at this level.
“Kane Butler, also. He’s come through the under 18s and he’s going to have a big year.
“I’m excited about what the future holds for the club.”
The opening match against the Brickies isn’t the only local derby Herne Bay will face this season. In fact, the team’s fixtures see them play five Kent sides in their opening six games.
“Obviously we never want to lose a game,” Denly said. “At the start of the season we’ve got games coming thick and fast, and it’s obviously true that we don’t want to lose local derbies.
“It’s certainly going to be an interesting game [against Sittingbourne].
“With it being a local derby, we’re expecting a decent crowd and hopefully a decent game.
“We’ve got a good squad in place and are hoping to start with a decent performance and a win.”