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Whitstable Town boss Marcel Nimani offers club’s best wishes to Harry Gamble after dual-registration winger sustains head injury in Beckenham Town’s abandoned match at Phoenix Sports

Whitstable manager Marcel Nimani has joined those offering their best wishes to winger Harry Gamble.

Gamble, who started the campaign with the Oystermen before he joined Beckenham on dual registration, sustained a head injury which led to Becks’ Isthmian South East game at Phoenix Sports being abandoned on New Year’s Day.

Harry Gamble in action for Whitstable against Faversham earlier this season. Picture: Les Biggs
Harry Gamble in action for Whitstable against Faversham earlier this season. Picture: Les Biggs

Beckenham provided an update later that night, stating Gamble had suffered a bad concussion - but, crucially, no serious injury to his neck or head.

Nimani said: “It was a very fearful moment.

“I was at home following the games live. When I heard it was Harry Gamble, I immediately rang the players who I knew were at the ground and watching.

“Luckily, he has been released from hospital. Harry was a huge servant for Whitstable.

“He was a tremendous player for the club and is still registered with us. We would like to wish him well.”

Striker Steadman Callender – has left Whitstable. Picture: Les Biggs
Striker Steadman Callender – has left Whitstable. Picture: Les Biggs

Nimani revealed he remains in contact with Gamble.

“It wasn’t long ago that I spoke to him,” he added. “It was only a couple of weeks ago and we had a great conversation.

“He was a very family-oriented man with us. He brought his family to lots of games.

“As part of the progressive journey that we have created, he’s been a key factor in that. Although at the moment he’s playing at Beckenham, he’s still very much part of our family.

“He’s a warrior, belongs on the football pitch and I would like to see him there as soon as possible.”

Whitstable defender George Sheminant – missed the Lydd loss last weekend through illness. Picture: Les Biggs
Whitstable defender George Sheminant – missed the Lydd loss last weekend through illness. Picture: Les Biggs

On social media, Gamble wrote on Wednesday: “I would just like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart – Beckenham Town and Phoenix Sports’ medical staff, players, supporters and management team for all your help at Monday’s game.

“I’m at home and resting now, and would like to thank everyone for their well wishes.”

Whitstable had a day to forget as they ended 2023 with a 4-0 loss at Lydd last weekend.

Nimani was eager to keep the defeat in perspective, though, saying: “It was a disappointing performance to end the year - but what a progressive year.

“If you look at where we were at the turn of the year last year to where we are now, we have made a drastic improvement on our results, drastic improvements on our performances and we’re starting to play as a team which really entertains the crowds. The numbers are showing that.

“It’s been a very progressive year. One bad result doesn’t overshadow that.

“We had played Lydd already and drew [1-1] at home. When we played them at home, it was a game that could have gone either way. Both teams had chances.

“They’re probably still the best team we have played at our home ground. If you look at their side, they have an incredible amount of talent and experience.

“I think, because Lydd doesn’t have the biggest reputation in terms of being a Step Five club, some may underestimate them. But we certainly didn’t.

“Their actual starting 11 is strong enough to compete in this league, the league above and probably a lot of those players could compete at Step Three.

“They’re a very good side.”

Whitstable were without defender George Sheminant, through illness, and the suspended Josh Oliver at Lydd, while their boss also served a one-game ban.

Nimani said: “Josh Oliver was suspended and Josh Williams got injured quite early on at 0-0.

“George fell ill on the day, so we had to make some adjustments. But we do have enough senior players in the team to rotate and have it not affect our performance too much.

“While it impacted our performance, it’s certainly not an excuse.”

One positive from the Lydd match was the return of Harrison Carnegie.

The winger briefly played for Whitstable last term and worked alongside Nimani at Sheppey, too, and got through 75 minutes before he was replaced.

Nimani said: “That’s one way of assessing progress - the players you can attract to the club. Harrison is one of the players I can rely on, based on our relationship.”

The Oystermen, just outside the top five, host bottom club Stansfeld on Saturday before they welcome a Snodland side seven points behind them but with four games in hand on Tuesday.

Nimani warned: “Now that every team has a motive and something to play for - whether that’s staying in the division, climbing up the ladder, getting into the play-offs or going for the title - every opponent presents a real dilemma.

“It will be our job to overcome them.”

Striker Steadman Callender has left the club.

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