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Folkestone Invicta agree new deals with David Smith, Scott Heard and Alfie Paxman

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Folkestone Invicta boss Neil Cugley hopes he’ll get a bigger budget to work with next season.

The club have recently announced the first players to have re-signed for another year and while Cugley hopes to keep what he had from the curtailed 2020/21 campaign, he wants to add some fresh faces too.

David Smith in action for Folkestone Invicta Picture: Barry Goodwin
David Smith in action for Folkestone Invicta Picture: Barry Goodwin

Invicta ended the season sitting sixth in the Isthmian League Premier Division but Cugley could do with a bit more of a budget to make a proper challenge with the leading sides.

He said: “I’ve spoken to the board in the last couple of days and I think they realise we want to try and get a bit of a higher wage bill. We’re in a competitive league.

“Last year we had a low budget, we will look to move that on hopefully. We always manage to do quite well on a low budget but we’re just trying to get it up a bit, to compete with some of those others, because it can be frustrating when you can’t get anywhere near them.

“Geographically it can also be a bit of a problem to get players driving down the motorway. Hopefully the ones we had last year will stay and we will just try and improve on that. We are still looking to bring in a couple of (new) players.

“We finished sixth in the league and if we can get a bit more of a competitive budget then who knows what we can achieve.”

Folkestone's Alfie Paxman in action Picture: Paul Amos
Folkestone's Alfie Paxman in action Picture: Paul Amos

Striker David Smith has committed for another season after a promising start for Invicta following his move from Ashford United last summer. He netted six goals in 12 appearances.

“He did really well,” Cugley said. “He was another one that we took a bit of a gamble on, coming from the league below, but he did well. He is only 21 and will be important to us.”

Scott Heard and Alfie Paxman have also agreed to stay on, with many others from the 2020/21 squad set to follow.

Cugley said: “We were able to furlough the players and I think they appreciated that.

“We are a good club, we are doing a lot of work off the pitch and maybe the most I have ever seen at Folkestone since I have been there as manager.

“That is exciting, off the field things are progressing well and the only positive thing about the lockdown is we have been able to get things done.”

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