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Captain Ben Greenhalgh firmly behind Margate's prudent approach in the transfer market


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Margate club captain Ben Greenhalgh believes the prudent approach is the way to go.

Gate won’t cave in to unrealistic wage demands and while new boss Andy Drury might miss out on a player or two, everyone who joins is there for the right reasons.

Margate club captain Ben Greenhalgh. Picture: Andy Jones
Margate club captain Ben Greenhalgh. Picture: Andy Jones

That means a happy and united dressing room as they look to build on last season’s eighth-placed finish under ex-boss Jay Saunders.

“Financially, we’re doing things properly, where a lot of other clubs are throwing crazy money about,” said Greenhalgh, who was named in the Isthmian Premier team-of-the-year at the weekend.

“We have to compete against that and build a side.

“I feel a bit for Andy because he’s spoken to players and relayed back to me what they’re asking for, and it’s silly money.

“These players have never been on that money before and they’re not value for money.

“There’s teams who will pay double the money someone deserves, even at the level below, and, suddenly, that’s what they’re worth.

“Football talks, it gets about what people are on and people are like, ‘well, I want this’.

“We’re in a position where we’ll have a group of players receiving good-enough money who are there for the football and for the club, and hopefully that will tick the extra boxes for us.

“That’s what we always did at Concord (the Beachboys punching well above their weight in National South) and at Maidstone where Jay had a good squad but no one was on silly money, where it ever caused a problem in the dressing room.

“We’re the same here and hopefully that stands us in good stead.

“It’s one of the biggest positives for me, doing things properly and not overpaying. It’s not a club where you get to Christmas and they pull the money.

“That’s one of the biggest points I make to players, you’ll get your money every month, it’s all done properly.

“I know it can be frustrating from an outside point of view but it’s nice to play for a club like that rather than going somewhere and a month into your deal, everything goes wrong.

“I’ve seen that enough in non-league, where if things aren’t going well, the whole squad goes in January to save the budget.”

Greenhalgh enjoyed a phenomenal debut campaign at Margate, scoring 24 goals and providing 28 assists after linking up with Saunders for the fourth time in his career.

Saunders left for Tonbridge but Greenhalgh stayed on and was made club captain by new boss Drury, following Ben Swift’s departure.

Swift, who spent five years at Hartsdown Park, went on to join Saunders at Tonbridge.

“Obviously, when Jay left, things were up in the air,” said Greenhalgh.

“We knew we were losing Swifty, because he wanted to play a level higher, so that wasn’t a shock, but when you’re losing a manager, straight away that sets uncertainty in the players’ minds.

“I’ve been at clubs where the manager changes and it doesn’t work as well, or it might work a little better, but Andy’s come in and kept the players he wanted to keep and been very honest with others.

“He’s not ruffled any feathers, he’s been very positive, he’s brought in a couple of players and there’s one or two more coming.

“Andy spoke to me well and the most difficult thing for me would have been to leave.

“There’s a good buzz here, a good feeling about the place, it’s all positive and, if I’m brutally honest, I didn’t want to let people down by leaving.”

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