Update from Sittingbourne FC

Another season has finished and what a finish it was with just 3 defeats in the last 19 games for Sittingbourne FC.


A run that, if we had started the season like this, would definitely have put us in at least a playoff spot. However, a barren run in the middle of the season saw us go 14 games without a win. The season finished with a Charity game (pictured above) between a Sittingbourne Legends XI v a Fugati XI. Fugati are our kit suppliers. The event raised over £4000 for the Breast Cancer charity.

It was with reluctance that we had to let our manager Nick Davies go as he has been a tremendous servant to the club in two spells with us and we are sure that he will go on to make a success elsewhere. To replace him we appointed Ryan Maxwell who has had success at Braintree where he rescued the National League South club to safety for two seasons and he also had a spell as Manager at Walthamstow.

Ryan has played for a number of clubs in both England and Scotland including Grays Athletic, Margate, Bishops Stortford, Tonbridge Angels, Gravesend & Northfleet, Hamilton Academicals, and Raith Rovers.

We made Ryan Director of Football as well so that he can oversee the development of the whole of the football side.

Amongst those that Ryan brought in for his management team was Che Stadhart who himself has played for many clubs including Margate, Welling, Gravesend & Northfleet and most impressively at Walthamstow Avenue where in the 1996-7 season Che made 44 starts and scored 23 goals.

Ryan brought in a host of new players and in fact we have used 51 different players in the 2022-23 season, including substitutes. One of the players was Joe Ellul from Maidstone Utd who was the Maidstone supporter’s Player of the Year last season. Joe, though, has decided to go to Ramsgate after an offer “that was too good to refuse”. Also leaving us is Matt Warren who was a revelation for us towards the end of the season, so both Joe and Matt will be greatly missed. However, our leading scorer, Donvieve Jones, has pledged himself to us for the new season so it’s not all bad news. In fact, Ryan has been very busy in the close up and lined up a number of good looking signings.

New teams in our league for the new season include Erith & Belvedere, a team we haven’t played against for some time, and Herne Bay. Herne Bay were relegated after just one season in the Isthmian premier division whilst Erith & Belvedere came top of the Southern Counties Premier Division (SCEFL). We are also likely to welcome back Phoenix Sports who came second in the SCEFL Premier, which earned them a game in what is known as the “inter step play offs.” They defeated VCD Athletic who drop into the SCEFL Premier. Another inter step play off tie saw Haywards Heath Town lose to Essex side Redbridge. The other new clubs are Phoenix Sports, who have jumped straight back to our level after a season in the SCEFL, Broadbridge Heath and Horndean, the latter two being new opponents for us as I don’t believe that we have ever played them before.

There’s never much of a break from football for those who help to run a club, for instance intensive work has started on our 5 pitches, and it’s thanks to the football foundation and the Premier League for helping to partly fund this with a £32,000 grant. So, roll on next season.

Keep up to date with what is happening in the summer at Sittingbourne FC by looking at our social media pages and on our website www.sittingbournefc.co.uk. If you are bored then also have a look at my other site which features match day programmes in flip book form that go back to the late 1940’s. You can find that at www.sittingbournefc.uk and hopefully even if you have no interest in the club the advertisements in the programmes will invoke memories of long ago!


by Peter Pitts

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