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Kennington boss Dan Scorer relishing first season in Southern Counties East Premier Division

Kennington manager Dan Scorer says their debut season in the Southern Counties East Premier Division is a free hit.

Ton, top of Division 1 when last season was halted by the Covid-19 pandemic, were one of three teams promoted as part of a restructure.

Kennington manager Dan Scorer Picture: Paul Davies
Kennington manager Dan Scorer Picture: Paul Davies

It was thoroughly deserved for Scorer and his players who are looking forward to testing themselves at the next level having enjoyed great success against Premier Division opposition in the FA Vase over the past couple of years.

They start the season at Punjab on Saturday and host Sheppey next Tuesday.

Scorer said: “Everyone was in the same boat, there are teams up and down the country who deserved promotion, so we couldn’t have grumbled too much if the decision hadn’t gone our way.

"But I’m pleased it did because we did deserve promotion and we deserve a crack at Step 5, which is completely new territory for the club, and having the opportunity to manage at the next level is something I relish.

“Stepping up a league we’ll play sides who dominate the ball a lot more than we’re used to.

“But we’ll still go into games looking to play the same way as have last season and so far in pre-season.

“We don’t want to change too much in terms of how we approach games.

“We’re confident our game can still work at the next level.

“From a personal point of view, when we’ve had the FA Vase and FA Cup games against Step 5 clubs, these are one-off games that you know you can get the players up for.

“To sustain that mentality for the whole season will be very difficult but, that said, the mentality in the group to show what we can do is very strong.

“We know what we’re capable of doing and with one or two additions, we feel we can challenge for the top half.

“We have our targets in house but next season is a free hit for us.

“I don’t think you can put us on the same page as Rusthall and Holmesdale, the other teams who’ve come up, because they haven’t had the opportunity to play many clubs at this level.

“They’re unknown whereas we’ve played seven or eight in the last 18 months so they’ll probably have a better idea of what we’re going to do, but I think all three could be top-10 teams.”

Kennington have retained all of last season’s squad.

They’ve added ex-Sittingbourne winger Liam Middleton and have several more signings lined up to boost the squad.

Scorer said: “We had a relatively small squad last season, only 16 or 17 players, and had the season continued, we’d have made one or two additions.

“We didn’t need a squad of 19 or 20 because we only got 13 games in but if the Kent Senior Trophy and League Cup are back this year - I’m not sure what the intentions are - we could end up playing 50-odd games, so we need a big squad.

“Everyone’s stayed on from last season, which is good, and we’re making three or four additions.

“Liam Middleton’s been fantastic. He’s been around Step 5 and Step 4 and he just wants an opportunity to play football, which he’ll get at Kennington.

“He’s got a lot of ability and I’m so glad he decided to come down and improve himself and also us.”

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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