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Whitstable Town manager Lloyd Blackman describes signing of defender Ollie Rowe as a coup

Lloyd Blackman is delighted to have added experienced defender Ollie Rowe to his Whitstable squad.

The Oystermen announced the signing of Rowe – who counts Eastbourne Borough, Chelmsford, Lewes and Hastings among his former clubs – last week, with the player coming on to make his debut in their 3-1 win over Three Bridges.

Rowe’s arrival comes at a vital time for Whitstable, with Connor Sanders set for a spell on the sidelines after he came off late in the first half on Saturday with a suspected dislocated shoulder.

Whitstable manager Lloyd Blackman. Picture: Les Biggs
Whitstable manager Lloyd Blackman. Picture: Les Biggs

Manager Blackman said: “Ollie is someone that I have been speaking to for a while, to be fair.

“He has been out injured.

“I had a chat with Ollie. He knows Steve Nolan (Town’s first-team coach) very well, which helped.

“He could have chosen to go somewhere for money but, with where he is in his life, he has just had a little girl, he felt he wanted to come to us.

"I think it’s a fantastic coup for the club.”

When asked why Rowe, whose last club was Hythe Town, had started his spell with Whitstable from the bench, Blackman replied: “The defenders have done well.

"I didn’t feel it would be right to drop someone for him. Ollie is a professional, he understands the situation.

“I was not worried about our centre-halves, far from it, but Ollie does offer us another option now.”

Whitstable will hope to extend their unbeaten run to six matches in all competitions this Saturday when they host Burgess Hill.

Having been relegated from the Isthmian Premier Division last season, the Hillians have struggled in their first campaign back in Isthmian South East.

But the Sussex club appointed former Brentford and Crawley defender Jay Lovett as their new manager in November and he has since added new faces to the squad.

The match against Burgess Hill comes after John Ufuah struck in the first period at Jubilee Walk before a second-half brace from Aaron Millbank sealed the win for the Oystermen against Three Bridges despite Curtis Gayler netting a consolation goal for the hosts.

Blackman is pleased to see his forward players sharing the goalscoring burden.

He said: “It’s nice to see.

"It’s a pleasing aspect that we are not relying on one person to score the goals.”

Whitstable, who travel to Cray Valley on Tuesday, have been drawn at home to Ramsgate in the Kent Senior Cup quarter-final. The tie will be played on February 25.

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