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Little need for sales pitches when speaking to potential new summer recruits for Folkestone Invicta manager Andy Drury

Folkestone boss Andy Drury has had little need for sales pitches when it comes to new recruits this summer.

After committing to remain in charge of the club next season, Drury has already put the wheels in motion with regards to Invicta’s 2024/25 Isthmian Premier plans.

Folkestone's Will Moses - was sent off in their season-ending Isthmian Premier 4-0 defeat at Bognor Regis on Saturday. Picture: Randolph File
Folkestone's Will Moses - was sent off in their season-ending Isthmian Premier 4-0 defeat at Bognor Regis on Saturday. Picture: Randolph File

Drury intends to speak to his current crop about their futures over the course of this week, with new additions already in the pipeline, some from the National League and National League South.

The manager intends to set his sights high after moving Invicta clear of relegation through their much-improved form since the turn of the year.

“They’ve been all right,” said Drury on his negotiations with external targets so far. “Fairly straightforward.

“Most people know what we’re doing - word gets around - and people want to be a part of that.

“They don’t want to stay with a team without any ambition. I don’t have to sell it too much to them.

Folkestone boss Andy Drury. Picture: Randolph File
Folkestone boss Andy Drury. Picture: Randolph File

“That’s quite nice.”

Drury’s early commitment to remain for next season has allowed him to get a head start on some of his divisional rivals with his recruitment drive.

He explained: “I have been to as many games as I possibly can all around the south of England.

“I have been watching my targets. I’ve been working on it for three or four weeks already.

“There’s a couple of things that will get announced this week.”

Drury, also formerly in charge of Margate and Whitstable, is optimistic for the long-term future of the club.

“It’s definitely the most exciting one (project) I’ve been a part of,” he said. “It’s not a club that wants to consolidate in this league.

“We want to get into the National Leagues in the next three or four years. It’s a good
project to be a part of.

“We’re now trying to build a squad together that will be set up for the next three or four years.”

Invicta had an afternoon to forget as they ended the season with a 4-0 defeat at Bognor Regis on Saturday. Utility player Will Moses was sent off on the hour mark for a foul on home substitute Alfie Bridgman.

“I think they had a couple of chances in the first half and have taken them, and we have not taken ours,” reflected Drury.

“Then, Will gets sent off and you’re chasing the game.

“I was disappointed with quite a few of the players and how they performed.

“But, at the same time, I gave a few players a chance and they haven’t really shown much.

“That helps me in terms of planning for next year, so every cloud.”

Despite that defeat, and only one win in six during April, Folkestone finished 11 points
clear of the drop zone in 16th - having had real fears they would be in the bottom four at the end of the season when Drury took over at Cheriton Road in November.

He said: “On the whole, we have worked hard and got out of the position we were in.

“Fair play to the boys for doing that. It’s just that the last three games have been a bit poor.”

And while things didn’t finish as well as hoped on the pitch, a gesture from chairman Josh Healey to pay for all supporters’ drinks at Bognor Regis gave Folkestone’s fans something to cheer about.

“That’s a really nice gesture,” Drury said. “He has done loads for the club that people might not see.

“With Josh, it’s in safe hands. He’s very ambitious but very honest, as well.

“You cannot ask for any more from a chairman.”

Tributes have been paid to popular former Folkestone Invicta volunteer Willy Webb,
who died at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, aged 73 on Sunday.

Mr Webb had many job titles at the club but was described as essentially a caretaker/odd-job man - a genuine club man and the sort of character which non-league football produces.

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