Home   Medway   Sport   Article

Chatham Town boss Kevin Hake rates his 2023/24 Isthmian Premier squad as one of the best he has managed

Kevin Hake has hailed Chatham’s trophy-chasing squad as one of the best he has worked with.

Second-placed Chats made it four wins from five matches with a 6-3 victory against fellow Isthmian Premier play-off occupants Billericay last weekend.

Chatham skipper Jack Evans is ‘part of the club’s heartbeat’ according to Kevin Hake. Picture: Max English (@max_ePhotos)
Chatham skipper Jack Evans is ‘part of the club’s heartbeat’ according to Kevin Hake. Picture: Max English (@max_ePhotos)

Captain Jack Evans got them level with a fantastic free-kick on his 150th club appearance after they had fallen behind as early as the fifth minute before they found their stride in style.

While plenty has changed at the Medway outfit as they aim for a third straight promotion, Evans, fellow midfielder Jordy Robins and defender Reece Butler have remained throughout their rapid rise.

Hake said: “They’re the heartbeat of the club.

“We have got youth coming through, as well. What’s great about this dressing room is the ability to bring new players into it - and the fact they (the existing players) all embrace them.

“It’s a really good dressing room. It’s one of the best that I’ve worked with and it puts you right in difficult situations.

“Although we went 1-0 down on Saturday, I thought the lads responded fantastically.”

Chairman-boss Hake admits Chatham are set for an exciting end to the season.

They will host Isthmian South Central Ascot United in the Velocity Cup Semi-Final next month and have also progressed to the Kent Senior Cup Semi-Final after losing out in the Final last season.

“It will be nice to go one further in the Kent Senior Cup and, in the Velocity Cup, we went out in the Semi-Finals last year,” he noted.

“It’s certainly going to be a great end to the season. We have 10 league games to look forward to, two Semi-Finals - and, hopefully, a few Finals!”

While 30-year-old Evans netted Chats’ first against Billericay, forward Kareem Isiaka led the way with a hat-trick. Striker Rowan Liburd and 17-goal top scorer Jamie Yila - with a penalty - were also on target.

Hake stated: “Kareem’s been brilliant for us, a great signing - as the other guys have been.

“They’re all taking it in turns (to score), which shows we have some nice strength-in-depth.”

Another bumper crowd of more than 2,000 were again at the Bauvill Stadium.

“Their support is massive for us,” Hake admitted. “You could hear on Saturday that they didn’t stop singing for 90 minutes.”

Although Chatham look unlikely to be crowned champions, continuing to trail frontrunners Hornchurch, who also have matches in hand, they are comfortably in the play-off places.

But ahead of Saturday’s trip to play-off chasing Carshalton, Hake warned: “We’re not getting carried away with it.

“At the end of the day, it was just another three points on Saturday - but it does put a little bit of distance between us.

“We’re certainly not saying that it’s a foregone conclusion that we’re getting into the play-offs.

“I’ve just said to the boys ‘Great win, well done, but let’s have two good sessions and then get into the Carshalton game’. That’s going to be very difficult away from home.”

Three of the substitutes for the Billericay game - player-assistant Danny Kedwell, Matt Bodkin and Chris Dickson - had a combined age of 119. The other player on the bench was teenage defender Harvey Broad.

But Hake said: “We have got older guys in there but they have been absolutely magnificent. Becks (Dean Beckwith), Dunney (James Dunne), Keds (Kedwell) and Bods (Bodkin) have all been fantastic servants to the club.

“I don’t care if they’re 40 or if they’re 16, they will get an opportunity at this club if they are good enough and they still want it.”

Midfielder Dunne is set to return after a two-match ban this weekend.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More