Steve Watt was boosted by the loyalty of Hythe players on the eve of the new season.
Two members of his team – a midfielder and a striker – were offered a lot of money by Isthmian rivals from the southeast.
But the duo stayed put and that tells Watt all he needs to know about the friendliness at Reachfields.
He said: âIn the last two weeks, a team in our league has offered to double the salaries of two of my players.
âThey refused to stay with us, which gives you that sense of loyalty.
âThey could have moved on and doubled their pay, but they’re here for the right reasons.
“It sets a good example for young boys that if you find a club where you are happy and surrounded by good players and good people, sometimes it is worth more than money.”
Hythe will start the home campaign against the new boys in the Corinthian League this Saturday (3pm).
The Hoops, FA Vase semi-finalists two seasons ago, have been promoted from Southern Counties East.
âThey’ve been a very cohesive team over the past few years,â Watt said. âIt’s one of the toughest games you can get as an opener.
âIt’s not a team that got scraped, they did well in the league for a few seasons, and the FA Vase.
âAny points we get will have to be earned. We have to be right from the start. We cannot take Corinthian lightly – I certainly won’t be.
âThere isn’t much of a difference between the top of the South East counties and our league. The best teams out there would be comfortably in the top half of that league.
âIt’s time for two teams to show up – the level is pretty good. I would automatically want two from our league too.
âI would love to see more teams rewarded and that keeps the leagues fresh. It’s one way to improve the game.
Hythe lost their last friendly 2-0 at Margate on Saturday.
They suffered a few blows but nothing serious.
Watt said: âI really wanted to get the players off the pitch in one piece, so they’re OK for the weekend.
âLast season we started off with some good injuries – it’s the last thing I wanted to happen again.
“Did Godmon suffer a serious injury in the last preseason game last year – I was aware of that.”
One player definitely missing is forward Alex Flisher, who has been out since injuring his knee at work. The sooner he returns, the better for Watt.
“He hasn’t played since the friendly at Folkestone,” said the Cannons boss. âWe’re not quite sure what he did, but I hope he will be back soon.
âWe want to play him in the middle, but he’s a player you can play anywhere.
âSome games, you spot the weakness of a team and you take it away.
âYou find a rift in their armor and it flakes off long enough to break anything.
“It’s not just because of his quality, it’s his mentality, his hunger and his desire to exhaust people.”
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