First Division

New Tenants for Rochester United

Rochester United have gained new tenants ahead of the 2020/21 season with Faversham Strike Force now sharing use of the Rede Court Road ground.

Lasting two years initially, the deal means that Strike Force will now have a home ground which could see them acheive their aims of joining the SCEFL in the near future.

Talks on the move have been progressing since February when United’s previous groundshare partners, Rochester City, pulled out of their deal. Faversham first-team manager Gary Axford and coach Stuart Benfield made contact after spotting an advert and talks have now reached a successful conclusion.

It follows a successful, if prematurely curtailed season in which a young side finished third in the Kent County League Premier Division. Their success has left Axford eyeing a promotion that eluded the club when they claimed the title four years ago.

“I believe this is the right time to try to gain promotion,” he said. “When Stuart and I took over the team three seasons ago, we had a five-year plan to get promoted but the performances this term show that we have reached the required level ahead of time.

“The club’s ambition has always been for our players to perform at the highest level they possibly can. This agreement will allow them, and the club, to meet their full potential.”

The move to Rochester follows prolonged attempts to find a stadium closer to their Faversham home, but this search ultimately proved fruitless.

It completes a momentous couple of weeks for the club after they recently secured charity status. This enshrined their duty to improve the lives of town youngsters through football while opening up new avenues of funding for facilities and equipment.