The pre-season friendly against Sittingbourne on Saturday 6th July (KO 2:30pm) will be another chance for trialists to show what they might offer as Steve McKimm and his staff continue to firm up how they see their 1st team squad taking shape. As Steve alluded to in his interview after the Sutton Common Rovers game it is likely that for some it will be the final opportunity and of course there will have been a further two training sessions during the preceding week for evaluation.
He will want to give possibles as good a shout as practical but at the end of the day there is only so long you experiment but with no more than five weeks to go before the start of the season you need to start firming up with a reasonably settled squad to test how the new signings will settle in.
Sittingbourne FC was founded in 1886 and four years later moved to the Bull Ground which was to be their home for just over a century. in 1894/95 the club gained senior status and until 2006 were to spend the majority of time in either The Kent League or Southern League.
A significant decision was made in 1990 with the sale of the Bull Ground and the subsequent development of Central Park financed from the proceeds of the sale. By any standards the new ground was vast perhaps too vast for the standard of football on offer. Nevertheless on the pitch the club also made significant progress reaching the Southern League Premier Division for the first time in their history and playing in front 3,000+ attendances. It was perhaps all too good to be true with the costs of running Central Park soon becoming prohibitive. In 2002/03 the club were forced to vacate their huge arena which meant moving to what had been the adjacent training pitch; there was even the risk the club might completely fold.
With the club now playing in the Isthmian League South there was to be yet another move for season 2012/13 to Woodspring Park to the south of the town where they currently play. It is great credit to those running the club that the traumatic times either side of the Millennium have been replaced by a more stabilized position.
We shall look forward to possibly having a quick word with former Longmead favourite Nathan Elder who is now Assistant Manager for the Brickies. Remembering 'Big Elds' as a great competitor, it is for certain he will want to improve on the clubs final 16th position in last season's Isthmian League South East table.