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Lovell keeping things quiet
Lovell keeping things quiet

Whilst others in the County seem to be announcing their playing squad for the new season, Herne Bay boss Steve Lovell has been quiet thus far! 

But do not let the seeming silence from the Welshman fool you – the Bay boss has been busy around Winches Field as KSN learned this week as Lovell firstly acknowledged the arrival of new Chairman, Matt Barman, to the Club.  

“The new Chairman has come in and been very pro-active in getting things moving at the Club off the field and around the ground with a lot of improvements being made, which is brilliant for the Club.” Lovell told us.

“Regarding the playing side of things, this time last year when we first came in, we didn’t have any players at all and so we are a step ahead of where we were last season as players, we recruited last year are going to stay – we’ve been talking to a lot through the summer as well and there will be new faces coming in.”

“But now we cannot register anyone, so we will release news then, but as long as we know what’s going on that is the main thing!” 

Lovell came within a whisker of guiding the Bay to the Isthmian Play Offs last season. “Standards are set by yourself – for me and Mark (Lovell, his assistant) – and it does not matter what I think people want you to do, we just try and do the best for the team, which is something that is in us.”

“There was no pressure on us last year to get the Play Offs or get promoted, but in our minds, it was the target and what we wanted, which is what we actually aimed for.”

“So, again this year, we want to improve on last year and that improvement would be making the Play Offs and will be the aim this year – we want to go out and improve on last year; there are a lot of things we can improve on and that’s we will do, and hopefully we’ll be in a better place come the end of the season.” 

“Most of the players we finished the season with will be back,” Lovell continued. “I still must hear back from one or two, and if they decide to move on then so be it – I cannot do anything about that.”

“At least we will not have to find twenty players and a full squad like we did last year, although do look out for some new ones when we start back training in the next couple of weeks.” 

“This time of year, you always must remember that whoever played well one season, you never know what they will do the next and vice versa.”

“Someone who may have been on the fringes last year could come in and have a good pre-season pushing themselves into contention and the frame.”

“That’s what pre-season is all about for me – looking forward to the games to have a look at the players, getting them back into training and preparing for the start.” 

“Pre-season can be a bit chaotic especially at the start,” Lovell admitted.

“We have arranged eight games as I always prefer playing games to training and I think it is better for the players. If you are organised and understand the planning of everything, it does work out – when you have people at the Club who are very helpful… I look forward to it and it is all about getting yourself ready for the start of the season.” 

The Isthmian South-East division for the coming season sees an increase to twenty-two sides, and Lovell said, “It’s going to be a very tough League again – every year it seems to get stronger with good players, good managers, good coaches and there will be a lot of teams fitting for the top places, but until we start, no-one really knows what to expect!”

“The teams and players that we do know locally gives you a chance to look at what they are like and could do – we will not know much about the new sides coming in, but that will be the same for everyone. We await the fixtures to come out in July and we will go from there!”