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Margate manager Reece Prestedge on goalkeeper Daniel Jinadu, Emmanuel Oke and Peter Ojemen trying to find higher-division moves and the summer signings of Damian Niemczycki and Tyrone Sterling

Manager Reece Prestedge has no issues with the trio from Margate’s 2022/23 squad who are trying to earn higher-division moves.

Goalkeeper Daniel Jinadu and defenders Emmanuel Oke and Peter Ojemen are exploring their options elsewhere.

Defender Tyrone Sterling has agreed to sign for Margate. Picture: Stuart Brock
Defender Tyrone Sterling has agreed to sign for Margate. Picture: Stuart Brock

Prestedge says Isthmian Premier Gate won’t be bitter if they can earn switches but, with ex-Ashford keeper Damian Niemczycki among those already joining this summer, he did warn he couldn’t guarantee the club won’t have moved on - if they can’t find a higher-division side to take a punt on them and then want to return to Hartsdown Park.

He said: “I had the same three conversations with them.

“I said ‘I’ve got no issues with you wanting to play higher - you’re all young enough and deserve to have a go at it’.

“We aren’t going to stand in anyone’s way and we aren’t going to be bitter about it.

“If they don’t find anywhere and there’s a conversation to be had, we’ll still have it.

Margate manager Reece Prestedge. Picture: Ian Scammell
Margate manager Reece Prestedge. Picture: Ian Scammell

“But, at the same time, I’ve still got to build a squad for if they can’t come back.”

Polish-born keeper Niemczycki, 20, has agreed to sign for Gate from National League South Braintree.

He moved to the UK aged 11 where he spent time with Arsenal. In June 2021, Niemczycki joined Oxford United before dropping into non-league with Billericay.

After leaving Billericay, he joined Ashford where he impressed and earned a move to Braintree while he spent the second-half of the 2022/23 campaign on loan with Isthmian South East Beckenham.

Prestedge said: “I’m pleased to get Damian.

“I’ve spoken to a few people about him. They all gave me very good reports.

“He’s 6ft 5in which makes the goal look smaller. That, in itself, is a plus.”

Another new recruit announced by the club within the past week has been experienced ex-Dover defender Tyrone Sterling.

On the 35-year-old Grenada international, Prestedge said: “We just needed that experience at the back.

“He’s someone who is going to lead, organise and just dictate from the back what we can do and what we can’t do. He’s just more of a voice.

“I don’t think there will be many players that can offer that more than Tyrone.”

Another centre-half, Harry Hudson, has agreed to stay at Margate, as has midfielder Sam Blackman.

Prestedge noted: “Harry is one who will run through a brick wall for you and Blacky’s one of those where you could sort of tell that we missed him when he didn’t play.

“He’s more of a leader in the middle of the park, as well, and just gives you everything. When he didn’t play, like I said, I think we really missed him.

“I think we actually won more games with him so that shows what a big player he is.”

It’s been a decent start to the summer rebuild for Gate, but with league rivals Hornchurch still to name ex-Gillingham boss Mark Stimson’s replacement, Prestedge is prepared to be patient in his quest to get his targets.

“It’s going to be very busy,” noted the boss, who saw midfielder Ade Cole depart earlier this month.

“We’re, obviously, waiting to see who Hornchurch announce as their manager and Billericay are making signings.

“There’s still people waiting to see what happens with stuff like that, which is part of the game.

“Some players like to just chill before they sign anywhere, some players like to get it out of the way. You can’t really begrudge anyone who does want to take a few weeks out and then get back into it in June or something like that.

“We’re not going to rush.

“We, obviously, have targets but there's a long way to go.”

Margate’s under-23s have applied to play in the Southern Counties East Development League for the 2023/24 season after the equivalent Isthmian League divisions were postponed after a lack of clubs signed up.

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