With just the small matter of the promotion final between our last meeting with Chippenham Town at the Kuflink Stadium, it seems like it hasn’t been long since the Bluebirds were preparing for a crucial game.
And only two weeks before that one, they had secured a valuable point against the fleet on their way to what then seemed an extremely unlikely tilt in the play-offs qualifier.
All of that is water under the bridge now, of course, as we embrace a brand new campaign and Fleet start the season at home once again – for the eighth time in the past nine years.
There’s probably little either manager can learn from the other’s setup and tactics at this stage, although the personnel has of course been tweaked with a tight season that has come and gone. elapsed between our last meeting and this one.
For the fleet, fans will be busy guessing what Dennis Kutrieb could do in terms of selection from a top form squad with strength in depth and quality in all positions. With seven new signings knocking on the door for selection alongside established players who won third place and a promotion final last season, guesswork over the preferred starting XI is sure to be high.
Fleet’s pre-season has been solid, with wins over Punjab United, Chatham Town, Ramsgate and Herne Bay, a draw against a very strong Colchester United side plus Corinthian, and just a solitary loss arguably against the run of the mill. game against West Ham. U21/23s.
For Chippenham, much of their early preparations were hit hard by the loss of key Bath City defenders – skipper Kieran Parselle and accomplished left-back Danny Greenslade. For much of the summer there has been little news of new business, but the Bluebirds have managed to tie up the bulk of their squad from what has been a bumper season for them in 2021/22 and fill the gaps left by the departing duo.
Impressive forward Jordan Young and midfielder Alefe Santos remain for another season alongside a core group of goalkeeper Will Henry, defender Spencer Hamilton and skipper Joe Hanks. The new signings include striker Joe Parker from Leamington, young Bristol Rovers defender Pablo Martinez, experienced full-back Eddie Jones returning from Bath City and flourishing Bristol City U18 Sebastian Palmer-Houlden.
The Bluebirds’ most recent pre-season outing was a 0-0 draw at Melksham Town, a game won on penalties by Chippenham. Elsewhere, they beat Cirencester Town and Hartley Wintney, drew with Cardiff City Academy and Highworth Town and lost to Bristol Rovers and a Bristol City XI.
Last season’s seventh-place finish and subsequent loss to Dartford in the postseason playoff was the Bluebirds’ highest finish in a campaign and that taste of success, which included seeing Havant and Waterlooville to grab of the Hawks’ playoff spot, will mean Chippenham won’t be a surprise this season.
Not that such a fate has bothered the likes of Eastbourne Borough or Hungerford Town who both relied on a progressive 2020/21 to maintain their progress last season – and Chippenham will be looking to do exactly the same in 2022/23. It’s up to the fleet to stop them before they launch as the new campaign rolls off the production line.
MATCH DAY IN SMALL FEATURES ——–>
Our online ticket sales platform on fleetlive.club has tickets available until 12:00 p.m. on match day. We advise you to pre-purchase for your and our convenience to gain admission to the grounds.
Daytime ticket sales are available from the windows of the main reception, accepting card and cash payments. The turnstiles open at 1pm but only accept online tickets (printed Where on your device) and tickets purchased at the box office on the day of the match. There is a dedicated gate for pass holders, but they can also use their cards through other turnstile gates.
There is no segregation for this game – so all supporters are welcome in our Main Stand bar and Social Club bar. To access the Main Stand Bar, enter through the turnstiles and walk along the walkway into the Main Stand to the door at the Swanscombe (uncovered) end. Signs show you the direction. Dennis Kutrieb does a pre-game roster review and he and other players also attend the bar after the game for the Man of the Match presentation.
Please also support our post match live music set from Josh Hassell after the match…all supporters are welcome to join us after the final whistle for this free live entertainment.
Check out our food stalls (to the left of the main turnstile entrance is our Würtsel Haus German Sausage Experience and straight ahead as you enter the ground is the Manhattan Grill for all your burgers, hot dogs and other needs !). Pop-up bars are also located near the turnstiles and near ‘Geeks Corner’ between the Plow End and the Old Stand.
Parking as usual on match days is available at Ebbsfleet International Car Park C for £3. Please have the correct change if possible to assist our parking staff and again we recommend arriving early. Please note that the areas near Northfleet Station, namely Railway Street and Hamerton Road, are residents/permit parking only and invalid vehicles will be ticketed. The area on Thamesway before the roundabout on the approach to Kuflink Stadium is a designated clear lane – although this is not particularly apparent on the approach – so you are advised not to park here due to the risk to be verbalized.
MATCH DAY PROGRAMS
If you wish to purchase your program in advance to collect it from our club shop before entering the pitch, you can do so via our webshop or when booking your matchday tickets online .
Programs are also on sale on the pitch from the club shop, the pop-up bar when you enter the turnstiles, the Main Stand tea kiosk or in the Social Club behind the Plow End, priced at £3. Pre-order programs can be picked up at the club shop before the game and before you enter the turnstiles.
Supporters are reminded that the club, in conjunction with the wider game, is committed to eradicating flares, smoke bombs and pyrotechnics from our matches and that the National League applies and recommends a zero tolerance for anyone attempting to introduce such devices into stadiums. We also had to install new fencing along the Plow End and supporters are asked not to stand or block the walkway along this area. Please cooperate with stewards’ requests and refrain from racist, homophobic or otherwise threatening and inappropriate behavior – all actions taken by ourselves and our fellow National League, North and South clubs are for the enjoyment and safety of everything our supporters and visitors.