Wednesday 25 November 2009

Folkestone Invicta

I've only been to Cheriton Road, home of Folkestone Invicta, three times, the most recent for the opening Ryman League Division One South game, back in August, to watch Dulwich Hamlet. It's a cracking ground, and probably the best ground in our division. Plenty of cover, a nice stand, decent terracing, and a well stocked club shop. What more could you want?

Call it what you like, & yes I know these deals bring in money for clubs, but I'm not a fan for these sponsored type names. But Buzzlines Stadium it is...

This is the entrance from which I entered the ground, there is another further down, where the clubhouse is.

Here is the turnstile.

Behind the goal, at this corner of the ground, is this large open terrace. We are going to head round the other way, in a clockwise direction.

So here we go, down the side, open standing, leading to a covered terrace along the side.

Before we move on we look across, from the corner flag, to the main stand on the other side.

Here we are reaching the covered terrace.

Not the best of angles, but at least I tried! ;-)

That's better! A look down it from the front.

From up on the covered area we look back behind the goal.

At the back of the terrace we see down it.

Directly opposite the main stand, over the half way line.

Now we're towards the end of this part of terracing, we can see the open area, in front of the bar beyond it, with the covered terrace behind the goal in view.

From this corner along the covered side we see the area behind the goal.

Moving round, we stare over the playing area, to the main stand again.

Past the cover along the side, set back from the pitch, is this cluhouse/function room. It was being used for a private wedding function today.

Looking to the left of this bar, from inside the ground, is this entrance, where the other turnstiles are.

This is how they look from outside.

With the entrance to the clubhouse, from outside the ground too.

Back inside, we see some of the wedding party enjoying part of the second half.

We are now at the good stretch of covered terrace behind the goal.

From this corner we look over the pitch, with the changing rooms & boardroom in the far corner. There is also a bar in that building, though I didn't go into it, presumably used when the main one is hired out.

A superb terrace behind this goal.

Another view along it.

From under here we look to the cover along the side, the Folkestone Bowls Club behind it.

This is the terrace, from the front, I like the 'wonky' railings!

Directly behind the goal we look at the main stand.

To the left of it is a toilet block and the club shop.

This is the view down the touchline.

An old training goal dumped in the corner, lights in the background from an adjacent sportsground behind, not sure which one.

From here another 'corner flag' angled shot.

This is the view behind, it might be a hockey club.

There is also a cricket pitch marked out.

From the side now we look back behind the covered goal.

On a board along the side the teams are listed.

Number two for the visitors: Kalvin Morath-Gibbs: my nephew makes his Dulwich Hamlet First Team debut!

Another look over the pitch, with a large Invicta fan in the foreground.

A large Folkestone flag is attached to the building, the 'we will survive' bit looking a recent addition, after speculation that they might not have made it through the close season.

Now we've reached the main stand.

With non league football being so expensive generally nowadays I don't like these extra charges, espcially for the old and infirm, for whom it is a struggle to stand up for ninety minutes.

A shot of the stand as we move along this side of the stadium.

Here we look down the stand from the back row.

And turn our heads back the other direction.

In the centre, at the back, is a press box, with the directors' area in front.

Here we see the dugout, with the terrace opposite in this picture too.

Past the officials' area, we look down the remainder of the stand.

Moving to the front, glancing back down it.

Two Hamlet fans watch the match, out of the glare of the sun. One concentrates, while the other has nodded off!

There is this plaque, dedicated to one of their club greats, Wild Armoury, on the side. The following is taken from their official club website on him:

"Wilf Armoury first became a Folkestone player in May 1934. He played in the First XI until the 1939/40 when war broke out. During the war he was asked, with five others, to form the Folkestone Wartime Football Club. From the start of the 1941/42 season the side included many top class players who were stationed at Shorncliffe, Deal and Hawkinge. After the war, in 1946, following the reformation of the Folkestone Town Football Club, he signed as player/manager. He then became a director in 1959 and in 1970 he was awarded a testimonial. Wilf continued to be actively involved with the club until its demise at the end of 1990. Following the rise of folkestone Invicta to Senior Status and entry into the Kent League, Wilf was invited to become a President of his home town club, a position he held until his death in December 1996."

These are the directors seats, in the centre, I took this picture after the match.

And here are the dugouts, taken from in front of the stand.

Past the seats is this open standing area, with the club buildings to the left.

From here we look at the large open terrace behind the goal again.

This is the 'tunnel' to the changing rooms.

Here we're now on the last leg of our tour round Cheriton Road, on the open terraced side.

The home fans taking in the rays of sunshine.

From here we see over to the covered terrace side.

And back to our right, the seats.

The club buildings are named after Wilf Armoury too.

Another snap of the open terrace, from the front, as we head back to the corner where we began.

After the match I saw this creature on the pitch. That is one big seagull! Well it is if you're from London & not used to them! ;-)

And picture for the fmaily album....

One extremely proud uncle, a Dulwich Hamlet fan for over thirty five years, stands next to his nephew after he becomes the first member of our family to play for the Dulwich Hamlet First Team!


Darren Lovell said...

Mishi, as ever, a fantastic review of a very good football ground, one that I have seen my own club Maidstone United play at many times. I have to agree that Cheriton Road is amongst my favourite non league grounds.

Darren Lovell

gee said...

yeah its a nice ground

Stumpy said...

Just come across this because someone posted a link on our website. Nice to see that visiting fans appreciate our ground - we love it too. I'm the bloke in the foreground shading his eyes in your third from last picture. That must have been very early in the season, when the crowds are afffected by people away on holiday, because the open terrace is usually more populated than that, especially on a nice sunny day.