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Folkestone Invicta striker Johan ter Horst backed to kick on again by manager Neil Cugley

By Steve Tervet

Johan ter Horst is back to help Folkestone’s promotion push – and he’s signed up for next season too.

The 22-year-old left Maidstone United this week after scoring twice in 18 appearances for the National League club.

Ter Horst, who moved from Folkestone to Hull City in 2014, had a loan spell at the Fullicks Stadium earlier this season but now he’s back to stay.

Johan ter Horst has returned to Folkestone Invicta Picture: Andy Jones
Johan ter Horst has returned to Folkestone Invicta Picture: Andy Jones

He stormed onto the scene as a teenager and now has the chance to rebuild his career at his hometown club.

“He’s in No Man’s Land,” admitted Invicta boss Neil Cugley. “But he’s such a good lad and wants to do so well that I’m sure he’ll kick on again.

“He’s got the ability to do it, he’s still only 22 and there’s a lot of players being watch at our standard who are a lot older than that. He’s scoring goals, so why can’t he?

“He’s a good lad, he’s local and he came through our youth system so to get him back was very important to us.

“It was always on the cards, or I hoped it was. Finances didn’t seem to come into it in the end. He had other options but we’re delighted to have him back here.”

Whether or not Folkestone get promoted this season, ter Horst will be part of their strikeforce in 2017/18.

Cugley said: “That was massive for me because I didn’t want to just bring him in short-term and then where does he go next? He scores goals for us and goes off again straight away.

“We’re very strong up front now. I’m delighted the club backed me to get him in.

Johan ter Horst in action for Folkestone Picture: Gary Browne
Johan ter Horst in action for Folkestone Picture: Gary Browne

“Maidstone did say they’d always let me know if they both agreed it was time to move on. I got the phone call, met him for coffee and it was done in seconds.

“He wanted to come back and it suited us.

“Ironically, we weren’t desperate for a forward but all credit to my directors for backing me on it to bring him back.

“It wasn’t top of our priorities but you don’t want to say no to him and he’s signed for next year as well.”

Stones boss Jay Saunders felt ter Horst struggled with the physicality of the National League after three years of development football at Hull.

“I agree 100%,” Cugley said. “You finish up playing that for too long. He left near enough as a man at 18 to go to Hull.

“Playing twice a week in men’s football is great development for these players and if they hang around in that under-23 category for too long, I don’t think it does them much good.”

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