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Ramsgate manager Matt Longhurst says facilities not money responsible for attracting players

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Matt Longhurst says it’s the facilities that have attracted players to high-flying Ramsgate - not money.

Unbeaten Rams are up to second place in Isthmian South East after Saturday’s 5-0 victory at Sevenoaks.

Ramsgate manager Matt Longhurst Picture: Ramsgate FC
Ramsgate manager Matt Longhurst Picture: Ramsgate FC

The club have made no secret of their ambitions to progress, transforming Southwood and building an exciting squad.

That’s brought inevitable suggestions about their spending power - particularly after adding Jamie Coyle and Jordan Chiedozie - but that doesn’t concern boss Longhurst.

“Look at the age of our players - it’s a young team,” he said.

“That’s why we brought Jamie Coyle in but he wanted to play again.

“It’s not a major financial reward to come here, he was helping out Jay Saunders at Margate, he wanted to put the boots back on.

“He’s said it himself, when he came here with Margate in pre-season and saw what we were doing, it reminded him of a mini-Maidstone.

“I didn’t put that idea in his head, that’s what he saw when he came here, and Jordan Chiedozie didn’t even have a club.

“He knows Lee Prescott really well, they’re good friends, so he came off the back of that.

"As much as people might look at it and say this or that, I’ve never worried about other teams’ finances.

“Look at Herne Bay. There’s no way Zak Ansah hasn’t had bigger financial offers to go and play higher but he obviously enjoys it there because he stays.

“It’s the same here, it’s not about the money, it’s the facilities we’ve got, and the way we play, that’s enabled us to attract these players.”

Ashley Miller and TJ Jadama gave Rams a half-time cushion at Sevenoaks, with Callum Peck, Josh Ajayi’s penalty and Danny Lear completing a handsome victory.

Longhurst was unimpressed with the first half, despite the 2-0 lead, but had no complaints with the performance after the break.

“I told them in no uncertain terms I wasn’t happy,” said Longhurst. “We were fortunate Sevenoaks weren’t at the races but we were very good in the second half.

"We controlled the game, with and without the ball, our keeper didn’t have a save to make, and we had chances to win by seven or eight.

“We’re only six games in and we know what a fickle world football can be.

“It’s nice for the players to look at the table and see we’re second but they know it’s irrelevant at this stage.

“The supporters perhaps get a bit more carried away but we’d rather be where we are now than sitting second-bottom and saying it’s only early.

“I think it’s going to take 15 games to see a true reflection of what the table is going to look like."

Ramsgate host Sutton Common Rovers in the FA Trophy first qualifying round this Saturday.

Longhurst’s team should be fresher than their opponents, who travel to the Channel Islands tonight for an FA Cup replay.

“It’s not ideal for them to be going to Jersey on Tuesday night and down to Ramsgate on Saturday but it will be a tough game,” said Longhurst.

“There’s a real togetherness in their group, they’ve had some good results - they beat Cray Wanderers in the FA Cup - and they've got a lot of power and pace.”

Rams are due back in league action at Herne Bay on Tuesday.

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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