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Herne Bay manager Sam Denly calls on fans to turn out in numbers for opener against Guernsey

Sam Denly.
Sam Denly.

Sam Denly has called on local supporters to turn out in force when Herne Bay open their season with a high-profile clash against Guernsey on Saturday (kick-off 1pm).

The newly-promoted Green Lions have found themselves in the national spotlight after winning back-to-back promotions in the two years following their formation. And their first taste of Step 4 football comes at Winch’s Field, with an estimated 100 fans travelling with the Channel Islanders to east Kent.

It will be Denly’s first game in charge of Bay, following his appointment as Simon Halsey’s successor in May.

He said: “Herne Bay have always had a decent following and we need them more than ever now. When Saturday comes, we’ve got to enjoy the occasion. It’s Guernsey’s first game at this level and they’re a decent side.

“We’re definitely ready. I’m raring to go and the lads can’t wait to get going. I’m enjoying it so far. It’s a hard job, a massive job but it’s one I’m relishing."

Saturday’s visitors have a long day ahead of them. Guernsey’s players will catch a 7am flight into Gatwick before travelling to Kent by road. Former England and Southampton midfielder Matt Le Tissier is the club’s president but he is on holiday in Lanzarote and will miss the Ryman League, Division 1 South game.

However, Denly’s focus is making his team competitive in a division which largely got the better of them last season.

He said: “This year is about rebuilding and there is a lot of quality at this club. We've had to bring in players and we’re building for the future. It’s not going to happen overnight but I want to be here for the long-term.”

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