Whitstable Town chairman sets sights on Ryman Premier
NEW Whitstable Town chairman Gary Johnson has set out his aim for the Division One South Ryman League side.
Johnson, vice chairman and club secretary last season, was confirmed in his new post at the club's AGM and takes over from Joe Brownett.
Brownett becomes club president and will continue to be involved with the running of the club.
Johnson, 48 and an experienced referee, said: "Our goal is the Ryman Premier division, but we have to cut our cloth accordingly.
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"For me it's about getting the right people on board, people who want to do the job.
"This is a great opportunity for the club to move forward."
Among the areas in which Johnson is keen to make change are the structure of the club's youth system. He also wants to promote greater interaction between the club and both local businesses and the community.
He was also keen to give Whitstable manager Justin Luchford his backing.
He said: "In Justin Luchford we have a great manager who has added something positive to the structure of the club.
"He had a turbulent start with us but I think he has the ambition and drive to take us forward.
"We also want to expand our youth programme and with that in mind have brought in Ian Greaves as head of football development.
"We are aiming for more consistency, both on and off the field, and we need the supporters to join us on the ride.
"This is an exciting time for the club. We deserve success and we need to kick on."
Whitstable have now confirmed eight pre-season games, including the annual Bruce Smith Shield fixture against Herne Bay, which initially looked to be in the balance.
The Oystermen will now host the Bay on July 17.
Other confirmed games include the visit of a Gillingham XI on August 2 and home matches against Margate on July 24 and Canterbury City in July 28.
Whitstable are hoping to open the Belmont gates on August 4 for a family club day with further details to follow.
Confirmed games: Jul 14 - Ashford United (H); Jul 17 - Herne bay (H); Jul 21 - Crowborough (A); Jul 24 - Margate )H); Jul 28 - Canterbury City (H); Aug 4 - Gillingham (H); Aug 7 - Chatham Town (A); Aug 11 - Cray Wanderers (H).