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Tonbridge Angels saving on wage bill until long-term injured players regain fitness

By Craig Tucker

Injured Tonbridge players are going without wages to help the club’s finances.

Luke Blewden and Tommy Whitnell will no longer be paid until they have recovered from long-term injuries, while captain Tom Parkinson, the one contracted player out of the three, has given up a percentage of his wages while he recovers from a broken ankle.

Manager Steve McKimm said: “I’ve always been loyal and looked after players and paid them when they’ve been injured but I’ve had to stop the wages this time.

Luke Blewden is facing a long spell on the sidelines Picture: Gary Browne
Luke Blewden is facing a long spell on the sidelines Picture: Gary Browne

“It’s not something I wanted to do but they’ll get their money when they’re fit again which I’m hoping our 12th man scheme might be able to help with.

“Luke Blewden’s missing two months, which is 14 games, and Tommy Whitnell’s out for another six to eight weeks, so that’s potentially 14 games of the 24 we’ve got left.

“No one’s happy about it but I’d like to think they understand.

“Tommy came to me and basically offered his money before I said what I had to say, which was good of him. He knows I’ve looked after him before and that once he’s fit, he’s back in my plans and the same with Luke.

“Tom’s a contracted player but we’ve come to an agreement to relinquish some of his wages to help the club out.”

The move has freed up funds to sign widemen Dan Bennett and Sam Bantick, who made their home debuts in the 1-1 draw with Bostik Premier leaders Dulwich on Saturday.

Nyren Clunis gave Hamlet a first-half lead but Joe Turner earned a point with a second-half equaliser.

Angels, ninth in the table, host mid-table Harrow on Saturday followed by a Kent derby at fifth-placed Folkestone on Boxing Day.

McKimm said: “It’s a busy period coming up. Harrow come into the game on the back of a heavy defeat but they’re our bogey side and that will be a tough game.

“They work hard and have a good structure but if we apply ourselves and can break them down and stop them going forward, then I’m sure we can get a positive result.”

As for Folkestone, McKimm added: “They won eight on the spin and now they’ve lost four on the spin but they’re in a great position.

“They’ve got Johan ter Horst on loan from Maidstone who’s scoring goals and I’m sure they’ll start winning again.”

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