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Dover academy player Rolando Onu among the new players signed by Southern Counties East side Canterbury City

Canterbury City joint-boss Josh Hall says their new squad are burning to get going, writes Joe Harbert.

City, who recently announced a 16-man team for the upcoming season, have seen 12 of their side's players from last season stay at the club, including captain Danny Keyte. They are now waiting to find out when their new SCEFL campaign can get underway.

Canterbury City managers Chris Woollcott and Josh Hall Picture: Alan Langley
Canterbury City managers Chris Woollcott and Josh Hall Picture: Alan Langley

The club have revealed four new signings in the form of Matty Robinson, Billy Lewins, Harry Brown and highly regarded Dover Academy star Rolando Onu, leaving Hall pleased with how the summer has evolved for his team.

"Towards the end of last season, we spoke to all the boys about what they wanted to do because a lot of them had points to prove," the former Sittingbourne coach said.

"We still wanted to keep all of them together because we started to build some momentum, barring a bit of a pasting from Tunbridge Wells.

"That was when we realised it was the lowest we can get, and it showed because after that we did well just before lockdown started.

“Now a few months on the boys are all burning to get going again, so it's nice to have the squad committed and all ready to go.

"The average age of the side is also now 23, so it's got experience and youth with players that just want to play, improve the club and go up the leagues.

"We didn't want to make wholesale changes, and that's why we've added just a little bit more quality with the new players coming in, and it means our style of play is going to be the biggest factor in progressing next season.

"But ultimately, I can't see the league starting anywhere before at least September, and that's me being hopeful with most clubs at our level depending on gate receipts to keep them going.

"Luckily, none of our boys are on contracts, and with all the uncertainty thankfully some of them are already back to work as bricklayers, painters and decorators, for example."

Despite no action for the Kent outfit for nearly four months, City, who lost just one of their last five league games prior to lockdown, are continuing to make progress away from Salters Lane.

Hall explained: "Off the pitch, everything with the new ground sounds promising and positive, and I think the plans that fell through a couple of years ago have just made the chairman more ambitious and hungry to get it over the line.

"So probably in the next few months we'll know a bit more, and if we can get our own ground then we can hopefully get Canterbury up the leagues.

"We've also been trying to rebuild the youth quite a lot, and we've just put the club back into the under-18 Kent Youth League to build more of a pathway to the first team.

"It's being led by a terrific, young coach in Sam Wilson who has joined us whilst still working at Tottenham's Academy, so that's only good for the club, too."

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