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Sittingbourne sign Sri Lanka international midfielder Marvin Hamilton

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Sittingbourne have brought an international footballer to Woodstock.

They’ve signed Marvin Hamilton, who has won several caps for Sri Lanka, the birthplace of his mother.

Brickies manager Darren Blackburn Picture: Ken Medwyn
Brickies manager Darren Blackburn Picture: Ken Medwyn

Hamilton, 33, is a friend and former team-mate of Brickies midfielder Ahmed Abdulla and joins from Isthmian South East strugglers Burgess Hill.

He offers options in midfield and defence and arrives several months after manager Darren Blackburn first held talks.

Hamilton enjoyed a winning debut last night with Kane Rowland's last-minute strike earning a 3-2 derby win over Whitstable, adding to Johan Caney-Bryan's first-half double.

“He’s best mates with Abs,” said the Brickies boss, whose new signing started his senior career with Gillingham.

“They played together at Whitehawk last season and I met them both in the summer.

“Abs decided he wanted to come with us but I believe Marv was good friends with the Burgess Hill manager and wanted to go and help him out.

“I’ve since been looking at things, how we’re doing and where we can improve, and decided to go back in for him.

“He brings that physicality, he’s played pro football, he’s composed on the ball, he can play defence or midfield and he’s still very fit.

“He’s just been away again with Sri Lanka and we’re really pleased to be able to get him in.

“He’s a very good player who can help us try and push for those play-off places.”

Sittingbourne, who lost 3-0 to Tonbridge in a friendly last weekend, host league leaders Cray Valley this Saturday.

Keeper Joe Docherty, whose penalty save at Maidenhead last season helped the Millers reach the FA Cup first round for the first time in their history, faces his old club.

“Docs has been brilliant for us and I know he’s looking forward to this game,” said Blackburn.

“He enjoyed his time there and he can live off that penalty save for a long time!

“I spoke to one or two other keepers in the summer and offered them the same deal, a guaranteed shirt, and Docs was the one who stepped forward and took it while others were umming and aahing.

“I really liked that, because that’s what I’d want, to know I was going to be playing week in, week out."

Sittingbourne have been strong at home this season but Cray Valley, managed by former Chatham boss Kevin Watson, present their biggest challenge.

Blackburn said: “Kev’s an experienced manager, he’s got a really coaching team and there’s a real purpose and identity in the way they play.

“They’re well-organised but because they are such an attacking team, you can sometimes get at them.

“I remember when we played them last time, we had the two best chances of the half but were 1-0 down at half-time.”

Sittingbourne have been boosted by the return to fitness of left-winger James Hawkins.

The summer signing was injured in a pre-season friendly against Sheppey, shortly after his arrival from Erith & Belvedere.

“It’s good to have him back, he’s like a new signing for us,” said Blackburn, who gave Hawkins 90 minutes against Tonbridge.

“He’s got great delivery with his left foot and we also played him at left-back in the second half against Tonbridge, which is useful as we don’t have cover for Taylor Fisher.”

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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