Hollands & Blair shocked the non league football scene when announcing the arrival of Danny Kedwell this week in a move that was a clear show of intent from the Gillingham-based Club.
Blair clearly have high hopes – and so does Kedwell. He spoke to Kent Sports News about why he chose Star Meadow as a new home and what he hopes to get from his time at his new Club.
“I know Paul Piggott [co-chairman]” said Kedwell. “I always used to see him, and I grew up knowing him. I told him I would have one year for him one day, and he has always held me to it! When he rang me, I thought ‘you know what, I can walk it from my house’.
“I have watched them a couple of times, last year in the evenings I used to go there and watch, and it seems like he wants well for the club. He tries to do everything properly and it is something I really wanted to do – help a local club. I had Gillingham where I managed to win a league, so a small club like Hollands and Blair, I wanted to go and help them really.
“People say I must be on money, it is not about the money for me. I have made my money in football – I want to go out and enjoy myself. I know a lot of the boys and there is no pressure on me anymore – saying that, I have put it on myself because I want to get them promoted.
“I go to clubs to win things – I am not just there to make the numbers up and play. I am not that sort of player, everyone knows. I want to push them on and have the best season they have had.
“I want to be part of that, and being a local lad there is nothing better, helping a club like that.
“I would love to get them promoted. We would not be in football if we did not want to win the league. That is what they want – they have got a good squad there, a good team, and they look decent; better than I thought to be honest!
“I have not played this low since I was 16 – I haven’t played this sort of level and I’ve not seen it apart from watching a couple of games. When I trained with them though, I realised they are decent, and they are all good lads.”
Kedwell, who has played for the likes of Maidstone United, Welling United and Ebbsfleet United in the past, had been playing for National League South side Havant & Waterlooville, but departed after one season at the club following the expiration of his contract.
Kent born and bred, it was always the travelling that was the issue for Kedwell.
“It has been the travelling” he said. “A lot of long hours on the road and, where I run the academy at Ebbsfleet, I could not concentrate on that.
“Coming towards the end of my career – I am 37 now – I need to concentrate on that a bit more and put some more time into it. So, I needed to play part time.
“I had loads of phone calls, but it had to be right for me and had to be right for my future in business. I am building a training ground in Ebbsfleet, a training facility, and I am going to have to be there every day. So, I wanted to be close.
“There were a few London teams and stuff, but I needed to be in and around Gillingham really.”
Kedwell’s first involvement for his new side was a friendly against Rusthall on Saturday. Needless to say he scored, as Blair won 2-0 to continue their impressive pre-season form ahead of the new campaign.
For the full interview with Danny Kedwell please visit Kent Sports News here.