Ashford United yesterday announced that they signed versatile defender Will Thomas and striker Dean Grant from Hythe Town. Thomas was a product of the Maidstone Academy and attracted attention from a number of League clubs as a 17 year old. After a spell at East Grinstead he rejoined Hythe for this season and last played for the club in Guernsey on the 30th December. Dean Grant signed over a year ago from Faversham and was a striker that has hit the net 13 times this season.
This was in a week when we saw a Managerial change at Hythe Town as Joe Denly replaced long-term boss Clive Cook. Denly is hoping that the changes will not affect the sides’ promotion push. As reported on KentOnline he said, “I don’t see why we can’t make the play-offs. There’s a talented squad there at the moment and if I can keep them together, I don’t see why we can’t make the play-offs. I’ll be going in there looking to finish the season well and with one eye on next season.”
As well as Grant and Thomas three others have left Reachfields in the last week. The first being midfielder Jordan Johnson-Palmer, who departed at the weekend.
Then another player who confirmed recently via his Twitter feed that he was leaving was Dave Cook, son of the former manager. He has made a series of tweets since the change of Management was made.
The third that departed was Ben Wilson who has moved on to Sevenoaks Town.
Hythe are unbeaten in the last 5 games and are 8th in the League but the Board of Directors felt that a series of disappointing results led to them having no choice but into making a number of managerial changes which took immediate effect.
Chairman Paul Markland said “Whilst it is true that we are currently holding a respectable position in the league table we had hoped for so much more than this and indeed our playing budget was set to deliver that greater success. We feel that the time is now right for a change in direction and a fresh look at things and we believe that will be best done under a new manager and coaching set-up.
At the same time, we are loath to lose the services of Clive Cook who has made so many friends at Reachfields and who has a tremendous passion for the club. We are therefore delighted to announce that Clive will be moving “upstairs” to the Boardroom and into a role that will be fully confirmed in due course.
We have appointed Sam Denly to be our new manager and he will be assisted by Gavin Theze and experienced coach Steve Nolan. Sam is 33 years old and was at Herne Bay until he resigned last season and Gavin was his assistant. Steve will be fondly remembered by Cannons fans as he was at Hythe with Tim Dixon before he moved on to Maidstone United. Sam has proved himself as a capable and strong young manager and we are very pleased that he will be joining us. He will together with Gavin and Steve provide fresh impetus to our ambitions.”
Denly, who works in Canterbury as a mortgage advisor commented “I am excited to start working again in management with Hythe Town. Whilst I have enjoyed a short break from football, the opportunity to return and work at a club like Hythe is one that I am extremely excited about. Hythe have a talented squad with great supporters and I look forward to working with everyone associated with the club.”
They are at home to South Park on Saturday.