Published: 06:00, 21 July 2021
Folkestone youngster Tyler Sterling has that rare ability of being equally good with either foot.
The 19-year-old attacker continued his strong pre-season form with another excellent display in a 2-1 win over neighbours Hythe on Saturday.
He caught the eye once again and manager Neil Cugley can see a big future for the Invicta youth product.
“He’s still learning the game but he’s got unbelievable natural ability,” said Cugley.
“I’ve never seen anyone hit the ball so hard with either foot.
“Honestly, the power this lad can get, with no backlift, is unbelievable.
“He’s one we always felt had quality, it was just a case of getting him a bit fitter and a bit sharper and he’s doing that now.
“He had a few starts last year and if he carries on playing like he did on Saturday, he’ll be starting a fair number next season or at least be there or thereabouts.
“The one thing is, he’s got to work hard and work on his fitness. If he does that, you don’t know where he could end up.
“You just hope the penny drops with these young players.
“There’s been players that we’ve moved on to bigger and better things but there’s also others who have the talent but just don’t seem to move on.”
Folkestone came from a goal down to beat Hythe with Ronnie Dolan cancelling out Alex Flisher’s early cracker and Alfie Paxman scoring the winner from the penalty spot.
Invicta had a number of injuries, with Kieron McCann, Scott Heard, Ian Draycott, Jordan Wright and Josh Vincent all missing, while captain Callum Davies came off with a dislocated shoulder and is out for two or three weeks.
On top of that, Ryan Johnson and Matt Newman were unavailable.
Cugley said: “We’ve got a lot of injuries at the moment but I’d rather have them now than in two or three weeks’ time.
“Hopefully we get them all back soon. It’s frustrating but that’s pre-season - it is what it is.”
Folkestone paid tribute to lifelong supporter Harry Lester at Saturday’s game.
A new scoreboard was unveiled in memory of the 82-year-old, who died in February, with his family in attendance.
“It was nice to win the game for Harry and to see a good crowd of 435 in,” said Cugley.
“We started saving up for the scoreboard after Harry died - lots of people contributed.
“His family were there, it was a nice game and a hot day, so it all went well.”
Folkestone, who lost 5-2 at Maidstone under-23s last night, visit Dover this Saturday.
Invicta’s old rivals will start the National League season on minus 12 points but are building a good squad, with the returning Ricky Miller, Ryan Hanson and ex-Sheffield Wednesday defender Reda Johnson among their new signings.
Cugley said: “To be fair, Dover have got over their problems and seem determined to give it a real go.
“That’ll be a big test - it’s a shame we’ve not got our full team available but it’s a nice game to have.”