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Rags to Riches - Faversham Strike Force


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#1 CoachLee55

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 03:39 PM

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Hello and welcome to this installment of Faversham Strike Force - Rags to Riches. A story beginning in the lowly Kent County League....
 
With manager Gary Axford deciding to focus on the boardroom aspect of the club. The Force began the campaign with a hunt for a new manager to fill such inspirational shoes. With an abundance of interest, the process was a long and arduous one. Fans were eager to have a new man in charge as soon as possible and after many interviews and much deliberation, the board opted to bring in a newcomer to the management world. 
Lee Michael has come from a coaching background, having coached at youth, academy and professional levels around the South of England, he has been given the chance to prove himself in this unforgiving world.
 
The season starts with a frightening friendly against MK Dons, which served to bring in a little extra funding for the club. 
 
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Followed by a home game against Erith. No real signings made, as Lee seems to want to give the current crop a chance to settle. 
We managed to catch up to Lee to see how he felt about this step into management.
 
"I am delighted to have been chosen by Gary. He set this club up back in 1999 and has done a wonderful job. He has created a strong family unit here. Why would I want to barge in and dismantle that? The club is already set up to succeed, I will ensure that we do exactly that."
 
Clearly, Lee is a fan of The Force, being a local lad he has a real soft spot for them.
 
With the season well underway, I will begin with Month by Month updates until we catch up. There will also be an "in focus" update every so often. Giving fans a look at key players.
 
Updates will become more frequent and in depth as we progress. 
 
Feel free to comment and I hope you enjoy the journey we will go on together.
 
The Force, The Family, The Future.


#2 CoachLee55

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:30 PM

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Welcome to the August Update. The start of the season finally upon us. With the Media predicting Faversham to finish mid table, new manager Lee Michael will be looking to out shine those so called experts. 
Our sports correspondent John Smith caught up with Lee at the Sittingbourne Community College where the club plays their home games.
 
 
JS: So Lee, you have stepped into your first role as manager of Faversham Strike Force. What made you choose this club?
 
LM: Well John, this is a local club close to my heart. The challenge of management has always appealed to me. I have prepared for this my entire life. I firmly believe I can continue what Gary started.
 
JS: Do you believe you will have a good relationship with the board? We know that managers tend to clash with the top brass.
 
LM: Pure speculation, you don't Know that at all. That is what the media report. I won't be entering into those kinds of games. I will say this however, Everyone here at Faversham has a desire to succeed. And that is what we will do. We are a family. I have to get back, we are evaluating the squad. Thank you.
 
 
Well, very to the point. Clearly, Lee is a manager that will tell it how it is. I think he will get on just fine here. Now, let's get onto the month of August.
 
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Starting with a home game against Erith 147 Sports, before traveling to Hildenborough AFC which is followed by a tough home fixture against Bexley.
 
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The 11 fans that came out to watch this game were certainly not disappointed. End to end and exciting all the way. Faversham Broke the deadlock through Emmanuel Afolabi after just 15 minutes. The 19-year-old ex Charlton striker slotted home a neat right footed shot into the bottom corner.
After some intense midfield battles that saw both Afolobi and Alex Hartshorne shown yellow cards, Erith managed to grab an equalizer. Dan Watts poked home after a bit of a scramble in the box on the 39-minute mark. From there, the game fizzled out. Both sides beginning to show signs of fatigue.
 
Faversham Strike Force 1-1 Erith 147 Sports
Attendance - 13 (1 away)
 
Man of the Match - Emmanuel Afolabi
 
 
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Only one Faversham supporter made the trip to the Racecourse Sports Ground to watch this one. With both teams looking for their first league win, the pressure was on.
Pressure that got the better of Eddie Davidson as on 29 minutes, disaster struck with Davidson putting the ball past his own keeper after a fluffed clearance from a corner kick.
Faversham had all the work to do as Hildenborough piled men behind the ball. Defending hard, determined to see out the half at 1-0. But, up steps Ryan Cooke, on 34 minutes, the 20-year-old winger picked up the ball 25 yards out. Without a second thought, he hit the ball, like a rocket into the top left corner. 
Neither team wanting to risk losing, they seemed to focus on defending over pushing for a winner. That was until 17-year-old Frank Clark scored a sublime left footed volley from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Faversham holds firm and claims their first win of the season.
And that Ladies and Gentlemen, is all she wrote.
 
Hildenborough AFC 1-2 Faversham Strike Force
Attendance - 12 (1 away)
 
Man of the Match - Ryan Cooke
 
Full August Results:-
 
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#3 CoachLee55

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:27 PM

September - Rise of a Star

 

 

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Welcome to the September update.

 

After a strong start in August, Faversham looks to build on that with another solid month. 4 Games crammed into this one, will they have the legs to see them through?

Will Emmanuel Afolabi continue his run of form? 3 goals from 3 games so far. Do we have a star in the making?

 

Let's find out...

 

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Just the one home game this month against Metrogas. This will be our feature game. 

 

 

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A game that was highly anticipated by both sets of fans. Each side came into this game with their sights set on a win. It looked set to be an entertaining one. A shoot on sight policy seemed to be in effect, as shots were pinging in from all areas of the pitch. But Alex Hartshorne was the key man. Picking up the ball just inside the Metrogas half, he took on 4 players before a deft nutmeg left the keeper flailing as Faversham took a well-deserved lead. Only for Eddie Davidson to once again play the villain, this time he tucked away a superb header...into his own net. 1-1 at half time.

I dread to think what Lee's half time talk was all about. But it seemed to light a fire, as on 60 minutes, that man Ryan Cooke once again showed his class. After a corner is cleared straight to his feet, he takes a touch and rifles the ball home. Top corner yet again. 

I can see this man being snapped up pretty soon.

 

Metrogas then put their foot on the gas and bombarded Faversham for the remaining 40 minutes, it paid off, as James Rees scored a looping header after 86 minutes. Michael Hilton in the Faversham goal had no chance. 

 

Metrogas 2-2 Faversham Strike Force

Attendance - 28 (1 away)

 

Man of the Match - Ryan Cooke

 

Full September Results Follow:-

 

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Emmanuel Afolabi bagging 3 more goals in 4 games. He looks set to become a star at Faversham. Let's hope they can keep him for the foreseeable.

 

An unbeaten September for Faversham Strike Force. How long can they keep this up for? Join us next time to find out.



#4 CoachLee55

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:55 PM

October - The Force Awakens

 

 

 

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October is upon us, and as you will see, a packed schedule this month. With 6, that's right 6 games to play in 4 weeks. The footballing gods conspire against us. But, can we keep our fitness and remain unbeaten? 

Only time will tell.

 

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We begin the month with a home game against Farnborough. A tough game against a top half team. Then, we travel to Guru Nanak, one of the teams expected to be battling for top 3. The two most notable games this month are against Rusthall in the Kent League Cup and Punjab United who are favorites to win the league. 

Rusthall will be our focus game this month. Does a cup run await us? Or will we stumble?

 

The dream of a solid cup run is the talk of the town, with Faversham hoping to cause an upset against Southern Counties East Division One club Rusthall.

 

 

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The game started brightly for The Force, as Ryan Cooke struck home from 6 yards after just 19 minutes. The shock seemed to hit the Rusthall players as they battled to keep Faversham at bay. 

The intense pressure paid off as Louis Block brought down Ryan Cooke on 35 minutes and the ref awarded Faversham a penalty. Calm as ever, Danny Bunce tucked it away with ease. 

Faversham looked comfortable, approaching halftime with a 2 goal lead. Maybe too comfortable, as Rusthall whipped in a corner on 45 minutes which Doug Horsted headed home. Unmarked on the penalty spot. Shocking defending from The Force.

Barely into the second half, Jack Connor leveled the game for Rusthall after rounding the keeper and poking the ball into an empty net.

A boring second half left the game at 2-2, extra time was just as bland, as both teams seemed unwilling to commit to a winner. So...Penalties it is...Nothing special here either. Faversham missed 2 through Cooke and Afolabi. Rusthall scored all of theirs. Disappointment from both sets of fans in my opinion...

 

Faversham Strike Force 2-2 Rusthall FC

Rusthall win 4-2 on penalties

 

Attendance - 19 (1 away)

 

Man of the Match - Jack Connor (Rusthall)

 

Full October Results:-

 

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Well, both Ryan Cooke and Emmanuel Afolabi on form so far. Remaining unbeaten in the league. Although that cup result will leave a bitter taste for some time. 

However, we managed a win against Punjab United, albeit with the help of an own goal. But still, a fantastic result there. 

 

Coming soon, In Focus - a chance to see up close details of our key players and stats so far.

 

Until next time. Stay Focused and let The Force guide you.



#5 CoachLee55

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 06:22 PM

Player Focus - Ryan Cooke

 

 

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Good morning and welcome to this edition on In Focus. We will be looking at Inside Forward Ryan Cooke. The 20-year-old was released by Northampton back in 2015 and had been out of football for a while before signing with Faversham Strike Force.

 

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Starting 14 games and netting an impressive 8 goals with 6 assists. He is already proving to be a handful for the Kent County League. The problem now is holding on to him. Surely these performances will attract the pro scouts, and with Faversham being an amateur outfit, they will struggle to keep this young talisman.

 

Standing at 6 foot 2, this powerhouse intimidates his opponents. Striking fear into defenders across the League. Accurate passing, a delicate first touch and an eye for goal make Cooke a perfect candidate for this seasons Player of the Year Award.

 

And don't forget, you, as fans will have the opportunity to vote for your Fans Player of the Year too.

 

So keep checking back to see more In Focus player profiles. And comment to request a player you wish to see.

Check our first team page for a list of players, and stats page coming soon.

 

Until next time, The Force, The Family, The Future.






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