Being half-way through the season, and almost a year since taking over as Head Coach, I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to keep everyone updated on how things have gone during my 12 months in charge.
Last year the club put great trust in me to oversee, not only first team responsibilities but also all age groups of senior and youth teams. Phil Fennell and I were well aware of the magnitude of the task and although there is lots more work to carry out, I feel we can be happy so far with our progress.
Our Under 23s under the guidance of James Read and Keith Harris are having an exceptional season. What is great to see is the involvement of so many Under 23 players in the first team already this season. Jake Munday, Billy Lewins and Lewis Mitchell are now regarded as part of the first team, and with more young players like Jordan Bartlett and Adam Turton participating recently it’s great to see these local home-grown players get opportunities ..... and I've no doubt there will be more to follow if they keep showing the required attitude.
Also performing very well is the club’s academy, run by Phil and me. Coaching every day with young aspiring Ramsgate players as well as providing them with some very useful academic qualifications is extremely rewarding. I've never been afraid to play boys if I felt they were good enough regardless of their age .... so it’s fantastic to see Jacob Mensah, TJ Jadama, Billy Munday and Harvey Laws all made their debuts through the academy this season, and I'm sure you would all agree look to have very bright futures in the game if they continue to work hard and listen.
Malcolm Cook and Mark Warren continue to work very well with our very young Under 18 side. Considering the age of these players and the competitiveness of the division they are playing in I'm in no doubt that they will be benefit hugely from the experience and only get stronger.
Lastly, a quick review of the first team. After the successful run we had in the second half of last season I knew it was always going to be a massive task to keep that momentum going. With the abundance of talent in our development squads they were only going to benefit from the experience playing this season. Week upon week myself and my staff can see continually improving performances from these young lads, and more importantly they did not go hiding earlier this year when results didn't start too well. There will be times again when we as a group have a patch of bad form but they will be stronger to deal with the situation, and having players such as Lawrence, Dickson and Kane who can draw upon their own experiences I feel the blend is improving.
All that's left to say is a very big “thank you” to everyone that has helped and contributed these last 12 months. My aim is to produce a brand of football that you can enjoy watching and with local home-grown players we can associate with .... and although I’m happy with where we are at this moment, I'm still aware there is a lot more to come.
Updated 13:40 - 11 Jan 2018 by Edward Lucas