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Faversham Town manager Tommy Warrilow already plotting ahead for 2024/25 season as he prepares to meet up with current crop this weekend

Plans have been put in place for next season by Faversham boss Tommy Warrilow.

The Lilywhites have already set about preparing for a second successive Southern Counties East Premier Division campaign after Play-off Semi-Final shootout heartache.

Faversham boss Tommy Warrilow. Picture: Ian Scammell
Faversham boss Tommy Warrilow. Picture: Ian Scammell

With some pre-season plans arranged, Warrilow intends to get his 2023/24 squad together this weekend.

“People don’t see this side of football,” said Warrilow, on getting ready for a first full season at the helm.

“Even on holiday, you have your phone with you and you’re on it all the time.

“Everyone wants to get it done nice and early but lots of players like to keep their options open and see what’s happening.

“This is the busiest time of the season. I would say we have done 70% of it with the players I have brought in.

Tariq Ossai teamed up with his former Ashford boss Tommy Warrilow at Faversham in March. Picture: Ian Scammell
Tariq Ossai teamed up with his former Ashford boss Tommy Warrilow at Faversham in March. Picture: Ian Scammell

“There was Daniel Thompson, Darnelle Bailey-King, Bradley Simms and Tariq Ossai and, prior to that, Jacob Russell and Ben Gorham. That’s six players that came in.

“But you never know in football. Sometimes, something will turn up that you don’t expect.

“I speak to loads of players that don’t want to drop levels. If that helps a mate out, I tip a wink to them.

"You hope they return the favour.”

Town have developed a reputation as a big-spending club since Gary Smart took over as chairman two years ago.

While Warrilow has tried his best to temper that, it’s a reputation which probably will not go away.

He said: “I was trying to calm that down.

“I was guilty of that myself (believing the speculation before taking the job).

“It’s a good budget but anyone will tell you that, in non-league football, there’s lots of clubs hoping to push on. I don’t think it will go away, if you want the truth.

“You just need to be a big enough character to get on with it and sort of laugh about it.”

Warrilow replaced Sammy Moore at the helm of the Salters Lane side in January and has loved his first four months with the club.

He said: “Forget about levels, I’m not a football snob. If I see something that looks exciting, I’m there.

"In the short time I have been there, I have loved it.

“It’s a fantastic family club. Gary down to the rest of the committee, they’re just honest people.

“I’ve had a great time. It’s gutting that I couldn’t get it (promotion) over the line.”

The Lilywhites’ 4-1 shootout Play-off Semi-Final defeat at home to Corinthian after a 2-2 draw came following an 11-game unbeaten league run.

But Warrilow had no intentions of criticising his players after the loss.

“Obviously after the game, you cannot just forget about it,” he noted. “It’s so frustrating but, at the end of the day, that’s what happens in football.

“I thanked the lads for everything they have done after the game. They have bought into everything on and off the pitch.

“It’s a shame we fell short but there was no way I was going to be jumping up and down about it. We were on an unbelievable run so there was never going to be a blame culture.

“People forget, we didn’t lose the game but we lost it on penalties. Everyone knows penalties are a lottery.

“I will see them again on Saturday and I already have half a dozen pre-season games lined up.”

The final promotion place was confirmed on Monday when Erith Town completed a memorable treble, beating Corinthian on penalties. Faversham’s biggest rivals Whitstable also remain in the division and have appointed Jamie Coyle as their new boss on a two-year deal.

But Warrilow stated: “I don’t really care who is in the league next year.

“You can go to teams down the bottom and have a harder game than games against those at the top.

“If I start looking at the Whitstables and all that, I will come unstuck myself. Even as a player, that’s what I was like and how I approached things.”

Defender Jake McIntyre, who ended the 2023/24 campaign dual-registered with Sheppey from Faversham, has agreed to join Whitstable this summer.

Former Faversham manager James Collins has led Bowers & Pitsea to Isthmian Premier promotion.

Collins’ side won their Isthmian North Play-off Final against Brentwood 3-2 on penalties on Saturday after a 1-1 draw. Ex-Faversham utility player Lewis Chambers was also part of the squad but missed the game.

Faversham Town’s new women’s side will hold their first open session next Friday from 8pm.

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