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Herne Bay manager Sam Denly says he knows his team must improve their disciplinary record in Ryman League Division 1 South this season

Herne Bay manager Sam Denly is urging his side to improve their behaviour.

Thirteen reds and 98 yellows proved a blight on Bay’s Ryman League, Division 1 South campaign last season and the Winch’s Field boss met with his squad this week to discuss the situation, ahead of the opening day trip to Tooting on Saturday.

Discipline is under the microscope with referees instructed to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to swearing.

Sam Denly Picture: Tony Flashman
Sam Denly Picture: Tony Flashman

Bay boss Denly said: “You are never going to take it out of the game but it is what it is.

“There will be a lot of red cards in the first few weeks of the season with referees enforcing the situation.

“I will be leading by example and making sure my coaching staff do the same. I love being hands-on and involved in the game but it has got to be controlled and we can’t be seen swearing at officials and showing dissent.

“We finished bottom of one of the fair play leagues last season, so needed to do something. We have taken measures to make sure things do change and it will.”

Denly, beginning his fourth season in charge at the club, added: “The league is the strongest I have ever known it.

“We have worked hard on phases of play and our shape and the boys are prepped and well drilled, it’s now up to them to apply themselves when they cross that white line.”

Looking ahead to the new season, Denly added: “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. It is important to begin well but there’s a lot of football to be played over the first two months of the season, so we have to keep players fit and fresh, by rotating the squad and pick up as many points as we can.”

Defender Gary Sayer (knee) is set to be ruled out at Tooting, Danny Williams completes a suspension held over from last season, while Joe Nelder is expected to play, despite breaking a little toe in the win over Lewisham.

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