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New manager Richard Styles describes Whitstable Town as 'a proper non-league club'

New boss Richard Styles has described Whitstable as “a proper non-league club” following his appointment.

Styles’ decision to leave Southern Counties East Premier Division Tunbridge Wells for Whitstable was announced on Monday evening, as he replaces Andy Drury who left for Isthmian Premier outfit Margate last week.

New Whitstable boss Richard Styles. Picture: John Westhrop
New Whitstable boss Richard Styles. Picture: John Westhrop

“They are a big club, they are a proper non-league club,” said Styles, who takes charge of the Oystermen after they were relegated from Isthmian South East at the end of their 2021/22 season as they finished bottom.

“They are an Isthmian club, really, they have been up there [at that level] for a long, long time.

“It’s always been a club that interests me and I have always looked out for their results. It’s a great club and a great town.

“After speaking to the board and the chairman [Steve Clayton], it’s evident what they want to achieve. It’s a nice fit and a really exciting project.

“Everything is there for the club to succeed and do well. Obviously, my remit is to make sure it happens.

"It's always been a club that interests me..."

“It did move quickly over the weekend but it often does in football. But at the same time, it allowed us time to deliberate and then take the position on.

“Then it was a case of talking to Tunbridge Wells and doing that the right way, which is something I was very big on.”

Styles joins the club alongside assistant Dan Morrin, both UEFA B coaches, in the week work begins to put down a 3G pitch at The Belmont ahead of the new season.

The former Lordswood manager, who says the club will return for pre-season training in early June, said: “Work has already begun. I cannot wait for it to be done.

“It’s a hell of an environment for the people of Whitstable and other players locally. The plans and the pictures I’ve seen of what it will look like are amazing.

Richard Styles replaces Andy Drury who left for Margate. Picture: Les Biggs
Richard Styles replaces Andy Drury who left for Margate. Picture: Les Biggs

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for us as a club.”

Styles led Wells to eighth-place in his only completed campaign with them.

But promotion is his target at Whitstable, saying: “That’s the goal, that’s the objective.

“That’s the target that’s been set for me.

“But I know non-league football and I know the league we are currently in.

“That will stand us in good stead, I have no doubt about that whatsoever.”

Styles is set to be re-united with some of his former players, with Whitstable having announced their first four signings this summer on Wednesday night.

Hitman Matt Gething is the pick of the new recruits while central midfielder James Huggins, winger Kyron Lightfoot and midfielder Jordan Wells have also agreed terms to play at The Belmont.

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