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Josh Vincent Joins The '500 Club'

On New Years Day at Merstham, Josh Vincent, or JV as he is known to everyone at the club, will make his 500th senior appearance for Folkestone Invicta. He becomes the fourth person after Micheal Everitt (735 appearances and still counting!), Liam Friend (546) and Frankie Chappell (501) to reach this illustrious landmark. He has also scored 37 goals which isn’t a bad strike rate for a full or wing back.

His first senior appearance was as a substitute replacing Lee Gledhill in a 2-0 League win at home against Corinthian-Casuals on Saturday 25th October 2008. He then made his full début in a 3-1 away defeat against Cray Wanderers in a game played at Bromley in the next game. He was the club’s ‘Young Player of the Year’ in 2008/09, which as mentioned was his début season. JV scored in the 2009/10 Isthmian League Division One South Play-Off Final win against Godalming Town and he was a member of the 2015/16 Isthmian League Division One South Championship winning team. For his services to the club, he  was rewarded with a testimonial season in 2017/18. (Thanks to Richard Murrill for the facts and figures).

After the Margate game I managed to catch him for five minutes and asked him a few questions  about his time at the club, starting with his best memories. He started by saying; “In my first season in the First Team, we played Crowborough Athletic, beat them 8-2 and I scored two goals which were my first for the club. “As with all the supporters, being local the 8-0 Boxing Day victory over Hythe Town is well up there, and again it may partly be because I scored a goal!”. He then moved onto the other team achievements adding; “It was great to win promotion, the first time we went up via the Play-Offs beating Godalming Town and I got a goal in that too, and it was slightly unusual as I was playing wing back one side and ‘Burch’ [Josh Burchell] was on the other side and he crossed the ball in.” He then mentioned the relief of winning promotion as Champions rather than the Play-Offs; ”The Play-Offs are a bit stressful with so much at stake and we’d lost a few in the past, so it was great to beat Walton & Hersham 6-0 to seal the League Championship the last time we went up”.

Obviously with the smooth there is the rough, so I then asked him of what hasn’t gone quite so well and he said; “I’ve been pretty lucky really and not experienced many bad things, the main one I guess is injuries, I hate being out the team injured and then of course if your replacement is playing well it’s difficult to get back in the starting line-up, but thankfully on most occasions when I’ve been fit I’ve been playing”. He then added; “One other particular incident springs to mind and that was a League game at Hendon, I kept getting punched by one of their players and then for whatever reason I was sent off!!”

And finally looking forward, he said; “I want to keep playing as long as I can, I’m almost 30 now so I think I can go on for a while yet and who knows if I keep fit I might catch up with Mev [Micheal Everitt]!!, I’ve seen a few full backs come and go over the years and I’m still here!” He then added; “Looking more short term, one of our supporters has offered me a bottle of champagne if I score nine goals this season, well I’m on five with half the season to go, so I’d like to think I’m in with a chance of winning that!!”

Neil Cugley added his own tribute saying “JV is the sort of player every Manager wants, he is a reliable full back and he has also filled in at centre back when I’ve asked him to and he has also chipped in with some valuable goals. “500 games with one club shows a loyalty that you don’t see very often nowadays”.

We all second Neil’s comments and thank JV for all his efforts on behalf of Invicta, and hopefully as he says himself, there are many more seasons to come.

The picture below shows JV attempting a characteristic header against Margate in the Boxing Day game, his 499th appearance! (Many thanks to Randolph File for supplying the image).