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Folkestone Invicta chairman Josh Healey on their search to replace departed managers Micheal Everitt and Roland Edge

Folkestone Invicta chairman Josh Healey admitted it was a tough decision to let go of their joint managers.

The club spent the week assessing their options after Micheal Everitt and Roland Edge were relieved of their duties following last Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with lowly Haringey Borough.

Folkestone chairman Josh Healey on the search for a new manager
Folkestone chairman Josh Healey on the search for a new manager

Player-coach Andy Drury was put in temporary charge for last weekend’s game at Dulwich Hamlet, which ended in a 3-1 defeat. Invicta play Bognor Regis at home this Saturday.

Mr Healey said: “We have a shortlist of managers, some of who we have already opened discussions with, and have hit the ground running as we seek to find a suitable replacement.”

A club statement on Wednesday confirmed the departure of the management team, which had been in place for just over a year, having replaced long-serving boss Neil Cugley.

“Making decisions like that isn’t easy, especially when you like the people,” admitted the chairman.

“They are very nice people, good guys and for only knowing them for five or six months I have seen the hard work they have put into the club, but at this stage we are looking to go in a different direction and achieve our ultimate aim of promotion.

“There is a lot of investment going into the club and a lot of work going on behind the scenes to help achieve that goal.

“We had to decide whether to make a call now or make a decision at the end of the season? Collectively, certainly from myself, felt it best to do it now and give ourselves every chance to rebuild and succeed this year.

“They stepped into the role this time last year and did a really good job with what they had at the time. Obviously in the summer when they were making signings they didn’t know where the club was, prior to us arriving in July, they had a couple of pre-season games before that and it was tricky for them during a period of uncertainty.

“I have no doubt both managers will find an alternative project to put their stamp on. They are good guys and very good coaches but it came down to experience. Who can we find that has done it before and can get us to that level and beyond?

"Of course, the fans will want to know who is going to come in and we are working hard on that, but we want to make sure it’s the right call for the long-term future of Folkestone Invicta."

Defeat on Saturday left Invicta sitting 12th in the table, six points adrift of the play-off places. With 16 games played there is still plenty of time to fight their way back up.

At Dulwich on Saturday, Drury made just one change to the starting XI as Scott Heard returned to the side. They were a goal down after three minutes and conceded a second midway through the first half.

Kane Penn halved the deficit but Dulwich got another before the break and that’s how it remained, with Invicta losing captain Callum Davies late on to a straight red card following a 50-50 challenge.

Drury said: “It was a disappointing result, second half we played some good football, were probably the better of the teams, but the damage was done in the first half with three sloppy goals.

“The boys gave me everything after a bit of a turbulent week, they worked hard, they didn’t give up, we were still creating chances, still playing football right until the end.

“The fight and desire was there but you could see the difference in quality going forward from them and us, they had pace and they could win headers and their hold up play was better than what we had, ultimately that was the difference.”

On the sending off, he added: “He had his feet on the ground, I don’t think the referee needed to give a red card, both have gone in for the ball.”

The chairman was happy for Drury to take charge ahead of a new appointment, saying: “He has played at Championship level with Ipswich and other clubs in the Football league, he’s also managed at other clubs (Whitstable and Margate).

“Naturally Dukes will have different ideas to Mev and Edgy, but he has that experience with playing at a high level and I believe he has the respect of the players too, I haven’t got any concerns with him taking the team.”

On Tuesday, the club confirmed that forward Ibrahim Olutade had left.

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