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Folkestone Invicta boss Neil Cugley reveals budget increase helped him sign likes of Guyana international winger Kadell Daniel

Manager Neil Cugley has revealed a budget increase has helped him attract international quality to Folkestone.

Guyana international winger Kadell Daniel is one of six summer signings so far at Cheriton Road, while former Football League players Nathan Green and fellow defender Ian Gayle have also joined the Isthmian Premier outfit.

Folkestone manager Neil Cugley. Picture: Randolph File
Folkestone manager Neil Cugley. Picture: Randolph File

“With a bit of extra funding, we have managed to get them in,” Cugley said.

“They [the new signings] look exciting. I think they see a good ground and a good grass pitch here that some players seem to like. We are pleased.

“Since sort of around March time, I think eight would have gone and hopefully, by the time the season starts, we will have eight in. We have brought six in at the moment.

“I’m pleased with the signings - credit to the club. They gave me another 20 to 25% on the wages - we had to do that, really.

“We had to increase from what we were on last year, otherwise I think it would have been a long season.

"But now, I’m optimistic.”

It means there will be plenty of new faces for fans to watch when Folkestone host Gillingham this Saturday in their first pre-season friendly before welcoming Tonbridge to Cheriton Road on Tuesday.

Cugley stated: “It’s unusual for us. We will have six new players and some trialists in.

“They [Gillingham] have got less time than us to get ready so I’m sure, by Saturday, they will be strong.

“I think Gills have an exciting manager now in Neil Harris so it should be a good day.”

Gillingham manager Neil Harris' team will visit Cheriton Road this Saturday. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham manager Neil Harris' team will visit Cheriton Road this Saturday. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Daniel started his career at Crystal Palace and enjoyed spells with Woking, Welling, Dover and Margate.

He joins fellow summer arrivals goalkeeper Bailey Vose, former Hythe player-manager James Rogers and striker Ibrahim Olutade, following the departure of winger Luke Wanadio to Dover which was announced at the weekend.

Cugley enthused: “He is an exciting player. Luke seemed to have a lot of injuries and illness last season.

“He has gone to Dover, good luck to him. I wanted someone similar and I think we have got that.”

Centre-back Gayle, meanwhile, is the cousin of West Indian cricketer Chris Gayle and - like Green - arrives from Isthmian South East play-off semi-finalists Cray Valley.

“That’s all I talked about,” Cugley joked. “I love my cricket!

“We talked about that for 10 minutes and then one minute on football before he signed the forms. He’s experienced.

“Matt Newman and Callum [Davies] overplayed last year, really, so we now have those three going for those centre-back slots.”

Cugley is calling on his new-look squad to impress him when they come up against Football League opposition in the Gills.

He said: “Hopefully we can get a good crowd. The pitch looks lovely and the new goals will be up.

“With the Covid situation, I think last season we were thinking ‘Will it get going or will it stop?’.

“As manager, I’m looking forward to seeing some of those players.

"I want them to excite me as well.”

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