Published: 06:47, 15 September 2021
| Updated: 06:49, 15 September 2021
Sittingbourne have signed a player who was on trial at Premier League Watford this summer.
Defender Samuel Okoye-Ahaneku made his Brickies debut in the 4-1 win at Corinthian on Saturday after joining from Hitchin.
The young right-back, released by Arsenal in 2018, played for the Hornets in pre-season but missed out on a move which was thought to be close at one stage.
“He did well for them and it was on Sky Sports News they were interested in signing him,” said Brickies boss Darren Blackburn.
“But there were some contractual issues with another club that affected him signing at that level, but he can be with us.
“He plays right-back or centre-back and we gave him 10-15 minutes at the end on Saturday.
“To be honest, I don’t know how good he is yet. We need to have a look at him.”
Sittingbourne’s win at Corinthian was their third in four Isthmian South East games, but they lost 2-1 at Hythe last night.
Their first defeat of the season, 1-0 at Whitehawk, still irks but the players have learned that Blackburn means business.
He said: “I don’t want to sound ungrateful or unappreciative of the players’ efforts but that Whitehawk game still sticks in my throat because we should have got something there.
“They saw a different side to me that day.
“I rang the changes that week and rang them again for the Faversham game, which we won 3-1.
“That showed I’m not here to be mates.
“Yes, I’ll look after them but ultimately I’m here to win games of football for this club.
“I’ve learned from my time in management, albeit short, that if you don’t adopt that attitude, and try and be too pally or too nice, it can impact your decision-making.
"You need the balance right because no one wants to play for a manager who doesn’t speak to them or treats them badly, but I think I’ve got it at the moment and long may it continue.
"We’ll have rough patches, like every team, it’s how you come through them.”
With no league game, Sittingbourne take on Lordswood in a friendly this Saturday.