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Kent County League side Faversham Strike Force have agreed a groundshare deal with Southern Counties East side Rochester United

Faversham Strike Force’s senior team will be playing in Medway when football resumes.

The club have announced a groundshare with Southern Counties East, Division 1 side Rochester United.

Faversham Strike Force manager Gary Axford
Faversham Strike Force manager Gary Axford

Strike Force - who play in the Premier Division on the Kent County League - had been hoping to play closer to home but say that after prolonged attempts their search proved fruitless.

Rochester United play their home games at Rede Court Road in Strood and had recently been groundsharing with Rochester City. When that deal ended, the Force entered into negotiations.

It’s culminated in the clubs agreeing a two-deal groundshare deal and that will now give them the chance to fight for a place in the Southern Counties East next season.

SCEFL teams must have stadium facilities and the club say the move is a “signal of their intent to climb the football ladder.”

Rochester United's Rede Court Road ground Picture: Steve Crispe
Rochester United's Rede Court Road ground Picture: Steve Crispe

The club’s senior side have played matches at Sittingbourne Community College for the last six years.

A club statement said: “Talks on the move have been progressing since February when United’s previous groundshare partners, Rochester City, pulled out of their deal.

“First-team manager Gary Axford and coach Stuart Benfield made contact after spotting an advert and talks have now reached a successful conclusion.

“It follows a successful, if prematurely curtailed season in which a young side finished third in the Kent County League, Premier Division.”

The club won the league four years ago but were unable to be promoted. That is now the club’s aim when the 2020/21 season gets underway.

“I believe this is the right time to try to gain promotion,” Axford said.

“When Stuart and I took over the team three seasons ago, we had a five-year plan to get promoted but the performances this term show that we have reached the required level ahead of time.

“The club’s ambition has always been for our players to perform at the highest level they possibly can. This agreement will allow them, and the club, to meet their full potential.”

The club, who were founded in 1999, run teams from reception year upwards, playing at The Mount (King Georges Playing Field) in Faversham. They also have a ladies team and a Sunday League side.

Read more about the club in this week's KM newspaper after being awarded charity status.

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