Home   Folkestone   Sport   Article

Folkestone Invicta's leading goalscorer Ian Draycott looks ahead to testimonial match against his former side Maidstone United

Ian Draycott’s testimonial takes place this Saturday - just as Folkestone boss Neil Cugley predicted when he signed the club legend eight years ago.

The club’s all-time record goalscorer, with 146 to his name, plays midfield these days and will be honoured with a testimonial against his former side Maidstone United (3pm). He’s enjoyed promotions with both clubs.

Folkestone celebrate Ian Draycott's 142nd goal - a club record - against Potters Bar in September last year Picture: Randolph File
Folkestone celebrate Ian Draycott's 142nd goal - a club record - against Potters Bar in September last year Picture: Randolph File

Draycott, 34, signed in 2014 from Leatherhead and remembers one of Cugley’s comments back then, saying: “One of his sales tactics when trying to sign me was to mention that testimonials happen slightly earlier at Folkestone! It was something he said to me the first time we spoke.

“What that said to me was that there are people who want to stay at the club that long and that’s a credit to Cugs and the club. When players want to stay around for that period of time, it must be a nice club.”

Draycott has played in testimonials for team-mates Frankie Chappell and Josh Vincent and now it’s his turn.

His first two seasons were prolific, hitting 43 and then 40 in those campaigns, a main man in their 2015/16 title winning team.

He’s beaten Jimmy Dryden’s goalscoring record and even though he’s now playing central midfield, 150 goals is a target.

This summer has been a different kind for Invicta, with so many new arrivals, something Draycott is unfamiliar with. It’s a club that he and so many join and stick with.

“It’s the first time I have known more than three new signings in pre-season,” he said.

“Even last year a couple of those were players returning to the club. It has been a different pre-season with lots of new faces but one thing you can see is that they are good players, we just have to work hard on making sure we get the best out of everyone.”

Draycott has enjoyed watching the club progress, now challenging for promotion in the Isthmian Premier, and with Cugley at the helm it’s been an enjoyable place to play.

He said: “It is everything about the club. It is very welcoming, very friendly, you can see the development of the club and the progress. Looking around the ground you can see it’s a club that is going in the right direction.

“Most importantly it’s a manager that I think understands non-league, understands that people have other things outside of football going on, whether that be work or family life. I have never known a manager to be so understanding.

“In training, everyone wants to be there. Everyone wants to be at the club because Cugs has got that understanding.”

Ian Draycott in a midfield battle for Folkestone Invicta Picture: Randolph File
Ian Draycott in a midfield battle for Folkestone Invicta Picture: Randolph File

While the management team have made his stay enjoyable, Draycott also had others to thank, saying: “Harry Lester had been my sponsor, he passed away a couple of years ago but his family have continued with the sponsorship. They have sponsored me every year I have been at the club.

“I’d like to thank all the players that have contributed and probably Paul Booth and Darren Smith who I think put the word in and twisted Cugs’ arm eight years ago!”

Playing Maidstone will be special for Draycott, a club he also won promotion with, scoring 13 goals in their 2012/13 Isthmian South play-off winning season, ironically beating Folkestone in the semi-finals.

“That was a good time,” said Draycott. “In my first season we opened up the stadium in Maidstone, it was brilliant to be part of that and to have success and go through the play-offs and get promoted.

“That is another club I have had good times at, a lot of good people were there. I am looking forward to catching up with a few on Saturday.”

Folkestone’s promotion bid fell away last season but Cugley’s new-look side will be eager to succeed and Draycott has plenty more energy for another challenge.

“I have no plans to stop now,” he said. “I think I have enough to be playing at this level for a couple more years yet.

“You take every season as it comes but I have really enjoyed my football and just want to be playing.

“When I first signed for the club it was No.1 to get out of the league, the Isthmian South, we achieved that within the second season, convincingly. We stabilised in the Premier and now we want to get back competing near the top.

“We have already enjoyed getting into the play-offs without getting over the line, now it is about time we really pushed on and look to get promoted.”

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