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Sittingbourne manager Chris Lynch backs captain Chris Webber's decision to join Swale rivals Sheppey United

Captain Chris Webber has left Sittingbourne for Swale rivals Sheppey – with the full support of his manager.

Brickies boss Chris Lynch believes Webber has made the right decision leaving Woodstock for the Ites’ Southern Counties East promotion bid.

Chris Webber has left Sittingbourne for Sheppey Picture: Andy Jones
Chris Webber has left Sittingbourne for Sheppey Picture: Andy Jones

His departure means Lex Allan is the only remaining player from the squad Lynch inherited from Aslan Odev in January last year.

Lynch said: “Chris has been here nearly three seasons and that’s a long, long time.

“He’s given a lot of commitment to the club and basically he needs a new challenge. I think that’s healthy for everybody.

“I’m not being funny but how many players stay three years with a club at non-league level? It’s very rare.

“If you look at it from a different perspective, Sheppey are fourth in their league and trying to get promoted and win a cup.

“We’re out of the play-offs so in terms of having something to play for, it’s a good decision for Chris.

“They may be in the league below but he now has something to fight for until the end of the season. I’d never stand in someone’s way. I think he’s made the right decision.”

Ainsley Everett, who’s joined VCD, and Nigel Neita have also left Sittingbourne as Lynch starts to think about next season.

Sittingbourne manager Chris Lynch Picture: John Westhrop
Sittingbourne manager Chris Lynch Picture: John Westhrop

Harrison Kempson has joined from Dover’s academy but is recovering from a dislocated shoulder, while the Brickies have also signed full-back Rhys Shirley-Clarke from the Arsenal community development

Lynch said: “I brought Ainsley and Nigel in when we were around the play-offs but I can’t justify being at the top end of our budget when we’re 14th in the league.

“There was no pressure from the board, it was something I brought up.

“We’re not in a promotion fight, we’re not in a relegation fight, so we’re at a point where we can step up advance planning for next season.

“Some people might say we’ve over-achieved a little bit this year.

“I’m saying we haven’t but bar Cray Valley at the start of the season and Guernsey a couple of weeks ago, we haven’t lost a game by more than one goal.

“Last year, you look at some of the results, 5-0 to Hastings before I arrived, so we have narrowed that big gap.

“Before, people were coming here thinking, ‘we know we’re going to beat this lot, it’s a case of how many’ but we’ve not taken a hiding from anybody.

“We’ve made progress. The next step is can we really go and challenge? That’s the target for next season.”

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