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Chatham Town have made seven new signings and continued their pre-season campaign with a goalless draw against Maidstone United on Tuesday night

Chatham boss Kevin Hake is hoping his early work pays off after assembling much of his squad ahead of their pre-season schedule.

Their third game of the summer was a goalless draw at the Gallagher Stadium on Tuesday night against a Maidstone side that is still very much in transition, with 12 trialists included in their matchday squad.

Chatham Town chairman/manager Kevin Hake is aiming for a third straight promotion Picture: Ian Scammell
Chatham Town chairman/manager Kevin Hake is aiming for a third straight promotion Picture: Ian Scammell

Hake’s added seven new faces to his squad that won the Isthmian South East Division last season and is now hoping for three promotions in a row.

He said: “We did our business really early, both with people going out the door and people coming in the door, and that has given us that little bit of familiarity.

“We have been bitten in previous years where if you leave it too late it is never a good thing. I am pleased we have done it early and we can get that familiarity around the dressing room.

“We’ve got some youngsters involved as well and some of them will be looking to go out on loan.

“The cut-off we have in our heads is July 25 where we will start to really refine the team and getting it to less numbers.

“You can’t read too much into pre-season, it is all about getting the minutes into the legs, the guys are getting there and we haven’t picked up any injuries, I am really pleased with how it’s going.”

With a month left of pre-season Hake hasn’t ruled out any more additions to the 22 he’s already got signed up.

“You never know,” he said. “You are going to get calls, I get calls every day from people who want trials or it has not worked out at one club and we have a big black book that we can go to but I like to keep familiarity as much as possible and the squad is looking good.

“We’re starting to get bonds and friendships and that is very important for us, we achieved that last season and it’s important we get that transition with all the new faces coming in.

"We have signed on some good people and hopefully we can now kick on.”

Maidstone missed a couple of good early chances as keeper Ben Bridle-Card was kept busy in the opening exhanges, before Chatham got themselves into the game at the Gallagher.

Hake’s side could have won it themselves in the end. Che Krabbendan had the best chance after good work from captain Jack Evans, only to be denied from close range.

Hake said: “It was a good game, we created some good chances, which was pleasing, you would like to see people putting them away but the time to worry is when they are not creating. That ring rustiness will go as they get closer to proper match fitness, you will see them go in the back of the net.”

With back-to-back promotions, Hake is more than happy to continue as chairman-manager of the club. He’s not afraid to dream big as he plots a course to the Football League.

Next up is a crack at the Isthmian Premier .

“I have a great backroom team here and why wouldn’t I continue?” he said.

“There’s a chance to go three in a row which would be unbelievable, it’s only been done nine times in history so my historian tells me, we will see and we will have a go!”

Chatham are at home against a Gills XI on Friday night and face Southern Counties East Premier Division promotion favourites Faversham Town on Saturday.

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