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Folkestone Invicta boss Neil Cugley to carry on with a similar budget next season

By Steve Tervet

Neil Cugley has decided to carry on as Folkestone manager after being told his budget won’t be cut this summer.

Invicta are preparing for a fourth consecutive season in Bostik Premier, having reached the play-offs in 2017/18 and missed out by a point this season.

Cugley believes he can have another crack at the top five – but only with sufficient financial backing.

Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley Picture: Andy Payton
Folkestone Invicta manager Neil Cugley Picture: Andy Payton

He said: “I’ve had a chat with the chairman and he’s going to try to keep the same sort of budget for next year, which I think is necessary in this league.

“If it was going to be reduced, I don’t think there would be much point us all being there so I’m pleased that stayed and we know where we are.

“We just get on with it at Folkestone, you roll your sleeves up and I think we get good value for what we’ve got at Folkestone from the players.

“As you get older, you don’t want to get stuck somewhere you’re thinking it’s going to go backwards.

“As long as we’re trying to progress (I’m happy). We haven’t got a major sugar-daddy to push it on quickly so we have to push it on slowly and keep progressing and that’s what we’ve done.

“It’s not much fun being manager of your local club if you’re not trying to compete.

“We need to get people behind us, raising money to be able to keep the team together. If we all work hard together, I’m sure the club can carry on progressing slowly.”

Cugley hopes to keep most of his key players, with announcements expected next week.

He said: “I’ve spoken to them all individually, just before the end of the season and since then and that’s progressing well.

“I’ve nearly done them all. I do work quite quickly once I get going, zoom round and talk to everybody and hardly anybody’s going to go.

“We’ll know more in the next few days but generally it’s all positive and the majority have already signed up anyway.

“I’ve still got meetings with a couple of players – the joys of going up and down the motorway at this time of year.

“When you’ve got a budget like ours, once you know somebody’s not staying you can use that on somebody else.

“If a couple don’t stay, I’ll bring a couple in on the same sort of money. I accept that’s how it works at Folkestone.

“Geographically, it’s not the greatest of places to get players and with the motorway how it is as well, it’s a bit time-consuming for a lot of them.

“A couple that might not sign, it’s because of the travelling and you can’t deny that. It’s not just the money, it’s the hours they have to put in to get down.”

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