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Herne Bay manager Steve Lovell says he’s in charge of the best club in Isthmian South East - with Winch’s Field the best ground - as he starts planning for 2024/25 season

Herne Bay boss Steve Lovell believes he is in charge of the best club in Isthmian South East - with the best ground to boot!

Lovell is planning for a second consecutive campaign at Winch’s Field in 2024/25, having replaced Kevin Watson in May after Bay’s inaugural Isthmian Premier season ended in relegation.

The one-time Wales striker will be aiming to build upon an eighth-placed finish, along with son-assistant Mark.

“Mark knows a lot of the lads at this level,” explained Steve. “Having played at Herne Bay, as well, he has that real affiliation with the club.

“He still plays for the Veterans team now and again! We enjoy it.

“The pitch is fantastic. It’s the best pitch in the league and, without a doubt, it’s the best
club with the way the stadium is set up and the way they run the bar.

“Everything is just first class.”

Among Herne Bay’s confirmed Isthmian South East divisional rivals next term will be Southern Counties East Premier Division champions Deal and Margate, who were relegated from Isthmian Premier.

Lovell said: “You have got Margate coming down and Deal will be coming up, who are very good. They’re big teams.

“Financially, some of them are in a position to push forward and I think that’s the beauty of the non-league game now.

“You have managers, coaches and other people behind the scenes that want success at their football club because, with the pyramid system, they can move on.

“It will be interesting to see where we can go.”

The Lovell pair appear likely to stay put this summer - and will offer all of their 2023/24 first-team squad the chance to return for pre-season.

“I’d like them all to come back next year,” confirmed Lovell.

“Pre-season is the start of another season where they need to prove themselves.

Read more on kentonline.co.uk