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Manager Neil Cugley fears storm damage to the Fullicks Stadium could derail Folkestone Invicta’s promotion challenge in Ryman League Division 1 South

01 January 2014
by Alex Hoad

Neil Cugley

Neil Cugley

A dejected Neil Cugley fears the storm damage to the main stand at the Fullicks Stadium could derail Folkestone’s promotion challenge in Ryman League, Division 1 South.

Invicta’s home game with Herne Bay on Saturday and the New Year's Day visit of Ramsgate were postponed after high winds over Christmas week ripped much of the metal roof off the stand, depositing fragments over a wide area, leading landlords Shepway Council to close the stadium on safety grounds.

High demand for professional contractors in the county following festive storm damage meant work on the ground could not be completed in time, and the Bay and Rams games have been rescheduled for January 28 and February 4 respectively.

Cugley fears the resulting impact on cashflow could once again hinder his attempts to build a contending side, despite four straight wins and seven in nine games overall, moving them into promotion contention.

Folkestone's game against Herne Bay was called off after wind caused damage to the Fullicks Stadium

Folkestone's game against Herne Bay was called off after wind caused damage to the Fullicks Stadium

Cugley said: “I have to be careful what I say but the problems we’re having aren’t going to help the club.

“Things have been going well and I am happy with the run we’re on but whether we can keep this side together now I don’t know, it’s going to be difficult.”

He added: “It’s the off the field stuff that’s going to cause me problems. It’s a great shame. I just think that (the Boxing Day win at Hythe) might have been the last time we are going to see that side together.

“I can’t see how we’re going to do it, with games being off, the stand, things are financially tight anyway and then the January (player) sales come about again. It’s a shame, they are good lads and it’s disappointing that we struggle to pay the wages we do, which are not even that high.

“I had hoped we wouldn’t be in this situation again. I hoped we were out of it.

“Really at this level you need somebody that’s going to back the club financially. Dover, Margate, Maidstone and Hythe have had it. If you don’t have that it’s difficult to generate money week-to-week to keep a side together.”

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