Home   Folkestone   Sport   Article

Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley plots Isthmian Premier promotion push

Neil Cugley doubts Folkestone can afford to go up - but that won’t stop them trying.

Invicta look well equipped to challenge the fancied clubs in the Isthmian Premier this season.

Folkestone manager Neil Cugley Picture: Barry Goodwin
Folkestone manager Neil Cugley Picture: Barry Goodwin

And they face an early test of their credentials when Worthing visit Cheriton Road in the opening game this Saturday.

Boss Cugley hopes his attacking instincts pay off as Invicta chase a play-off place.

“We can’t compete with some teams financially but you can get everything else right,” he said.

“Let’s try, let’s have a go. Can we afford Conference South? I doubt it but we’ll have a go at it and we’ll go into every game looking to enjoy it and win.

“I’d much rather go into games looking to win than trying not to lose. That’s how you get your points.

“I’ve always gone for wins, I’ve never really tried not to lose.

“That doesn’t mean you don’t try and defend well but it’s wins that get you in the play-offs.

“Obviously if you go to Hornchurch and draw you’re delighted but we don’t set up for a draw.

“You try and make it difficult but we’ve got good forwards, so give them the ball. You look at Alfie Paxman, Tyler Sterling, Ian Draycott, Ade Yusuff, David Smith - give them the ball.

“Football’s a simple game that gets complicated by coaches sometimes but that’s my opinion.

“We’ve got a certain pattern of play, although we’ve had to change how we play at the end of pre-season because of Covid and injuries, but we’ve still done well.”

Scott Heard, Aaron Simpson, Kieron McCann and Ronnie Dolan are set to miss the visit of Worthing.

But that means chances for others and Invicta impressed in wrapping up pre-season with a 3-1 win over Maidstone at the weekend.

Folkestone beat Maidstone 3-1 in their final friendly at the weekend Picture: Randolph File
Folkestone beat Maidstone 3-1 in their final friendly at the weekend Picture: Randolph File

Cugley said: “They’re players you’d expect to play but we get on with it.

“Worthing are a big club, a well-run club and they’ve got a good link-up with Brighton.

“They’ve got a good manager, they’re desperate to get to Conference South and they’re all geared up to do it. It will be a big test for us.

“Hornchurch are bound to be up there as well, you’ve got Lewes, with Joe Taylor there, and Kingstonian are the money club, plus they’re in a great catchment area.

“You can only do your best. It’s a great challenge and I love all that.”

Cugley has high hopes for Smith and Yusuff up front and feels it won’t be long before Sterling joins the likes of Harry Smith, Johan ter Horst and Ira Jackson in earning a big move.

“The two up front look a real danger,” said Cugley. “If we’re going to do well, we need them to be on fire.

“Ade’s been at a couple of places, and it’s not worked out, and he’s come home. Sometimes you need to be somewhere you enjoy your football. Who’s to say he won’t go again and the same for Smithy, who’s only 21.

“Tyler, I think, is the next one though.

“He needs to go somewhere and play full-time.

“If he was a full-time, training every day, what a player he’d be. He should be at a pro club.

“You want money for these players but you want people to know you’re a club who helps players get on.

“Micheal Everitt said to me he’d love to be a forward here because we play to forwards’ strengths and it’s mainly forwards we’ve sold because we play so attacking.”

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More