Herne Bay newcomer Frankie Morgan was at Charlton as a youngster and his new manager believes he still has the makings of a professional footballer.
The full-back - younger brother of Charlton’s first-team regular Albie Morgan - has impressed Bay boss Ben Smith after switching from Corinthian where he had an excellent season last term, winning player-of-the-year.
“He is a really good prospect,” said Smith. “I’ve been so impressed with him and I can see why he was at a pro club before, he has got all the attributes to go back to that sort of level.
“He was at Charlton and got released there, probably because he was too small, and then went to Corinthian and, fair play to them, I’ve got a lot of respect for what they do, they do bring young players through and they give them opportunities.”
Smith hasn’t made too many squad changes this summer having won promotion to the Isthmian Premier. With so much going on elsewhere, he’s glad the squad is settled.
He said: “Our strategy was keep the lads we had and build around it, that came to the fore on Saturday where it felt so settled (Bay beat Tooting & Mitcham United 1-0 thanks to a goal from Lanre Azeez).
“We have got enough things that have changed or that are changing that we have to adapt to. We have a new pitch, we’re in a new league, we will have some new players in but we’ve also got a new head coach (Junior James) come in. There is a lot of change, we need to make sure we keep what we’ve got, A for loyalty and B it is about keeping that continuity.”
His side followed up a tough weekend win by beating Abbey Rangers 3-2 on Tuesday night with goals from Kamani Thomas, Zak Ansah and Aaron Millbank. Marcel Barrington has played in both games as Smith takes a look at the powerhouse striker.
Also involved with the first team has been 16-year-old attacking midfielder Archie Hatcher. The former Gillingham youngster is part of Dan Lawrence’s under-18 side at the club.
“I think he has a big future,” Smith predicted. “You would never think he is 16, he plays well beyond his years, his game IQ is very high.”
Up next for Bay - who continue to play away while their 3G pitch is being installed - is a game at Sheppey United.
Smith said: “The supporters’ club are doing all they can to make sure the away games are accessible for supporters and we are getting more numbers there and they have booked out a coach for away games.”