It’s been a few weeks since we last provided an update at the Fans Forum on the Men’s team and whilst there’s been no change to the statements made on that night, the club felt now is as good time as any to address some of the questions that we have been asked.
Ross Standen and Tony Coade have stepped up to the task of managing the first team and will continue in these roles for the foreseeable future. We may bring in additional resources to help them should the football management team decide that would be a benefit.
We’ve won three of our last five games and in the two we’ve lost we’ve been very competitive. On Saturday we created enough chances against Wingate & Finchley to grab at least a point but it wasn’t to be. The pair have been working tirelessly in the past few weeks in trying to bring additional resources to the squad as injuries have started to bite. Ross and Codge will continue in their co-manager roles and both are under contract with the club.
Our squad isn’t the biggest but with key players either out injured or playing with knocks that in other circumstances would see them rested, we are down to the bare bones. Injuries have cost us across the team: on Saturday, we lost James Hammond and then Michael Onovwigun after just seven minutes. Tom Day was taken off with a dead leg on Wednesday night and is expected to be given the all clear to play next week. Dayshonne Golding was also injured Wednesday night but was fit enough to be on the subs bench on Saturday. All of this has meant having to bring in some of our youngsters from the Under 18s who have stepped up to the challenge, a testimony to the great work that Dale Hurley and his team continue to do for the club.
Unfortunately, at this stage of the season, we are almost playing twice a week. We do not have a choice as to whether we play in the Sussex Senior and Isthmian League Cups which puts more strain and extra demands on our squad.
The question we often hear is “well why don’t you go and sign some more players?” We’ve spoken to over twenty players, in the past two weeks. With some clubs still in the respective cup competitions, they have been reluctant to release squad players whilst it should also be noted that the Non-League landscape has changed over the past 18 months and the wage demands for relatively average players has increased significantly.
We have to try to operate within that which is why our 12th Man Fund is so important. Contributions to that go directly into the playing budget and give us that extra financial muscle to attract new players. You can make a donation to that Fund here: https://www.lewesfc.com/team/mens-1st-team
To be clear, we have the funds available to make signings but will not cede to some of the demands we are hearing from players and their representatives.
Our search for additions to our squad will go on but with a caveat that we will only spend what we can afford. Nevertheless, we hope we can announce some new players shortly.
Next Saturday the Rooks head to Kingstonian and we hope to see as many of you as possible travel to Tolworth and support the team.