Ian Draycott. Image credit: Steve Ball

Prolific in his early days, Ian Draycott admits he had to wait awhile to equal Folkestone Invicta’s all-time scoring record, but he thinks that “when I finish my career it’s something that I will watch with pride ”.

Now 33 and playing a pivotal role in midfield this season, Draycott – in his eighth campaign at Cheriton Road – tied Jimmy Dryden (2001-05) to match 141 goals in the 60th minute of the recent 2-1 victory over Horsham in the Isthmian League Premier Division.

As the manager of a sports services company – sending coaches to schools to deliver a range of activities – Draycott has been a goal provider for a long time and he still enjoys his role on the team.

Matching the record he’s sure to beat, he says, “It’s obviously cool. When I sit down and look back on my career, I think it will have more impact then.

“Right now I’m focusing on getting a little bit more. We had a good start to the season and for me personally, scoring three goals already and the team being unbeaten at the end of September is a good start.

“The record was a long time coming. In my first two seasons, I scored a lot of goals in the south of the Isthmus. Over the years my role has changed and the way we play as a team has changed. I had to adapt and the goals didn’t come that often. But when I’m playing and playing well, I know I’m able to call and score my fair share.

Draycott explained the change in duties, adding: “I joined the club as a forward and played as one of the two up front. I’ve always been the little man who was the goalscorer if you will. Less involved in the construction game but more involved in setting the net.

“Over the years we’ve grown into a team that probably likes to come back to the forefront more quickly. So the expectation of playing up front is to be strong, powerful and get back to goal. This is not necessarily my main strength.

“So I had to adapt. I’ve played left, right and in fact I’m playing central midfielder this year. I play a deeper role, but part of my job is to get into the box while contributing to the goals. “

Ian Draycott. Image credit: Steve Ball

With David Smith and Adam Yusuff wreaking havoc in Invicta’s attack, and Draycott describing them as “a real handful and probably the top two in the division to cause a problem with defenses,” he has a more withdrawn role but l love and want to Continue.

“I like to think I’m pretty fit and can move around the pitch, especially at this level,” he explained. “I like it and I really like contributing to the goals. I feel like I have an effect on the game which is something of Cugs [manager Neil Cugley] always ask. When you’re playing on a winning team and doing well personally, it’s a nice place.

Draycott, who joined Leatherhead in the summer of 2014 and scored 43 goals in 57 appearances in his first season, then 40 goals in 53 games the following year, added: “I scored some good goals, especially in those first couple of years when everything i hit came in. But none emerge. The whole range is there. People think about the most important, but every goal is important to me.

Extremely respected, Cugley obviously played a big part in Draycott’s life at Folkestone and said: “He is someone who is very much appreciated and it shows in the number of players who have been there for many years.

“Reaching a promotion together would be something special. I met the Cugs seven or eight years ago and we had a common ambition to get as many goals as possible to help us get promoted and then consolidate into the Premier Isthmian. Now, eight years later, the pitch has improved, the team has improved and we are knocking on the door for another promotion.

“If I could break the record and get promoted in the same year, it would be a great season. “

Draycott couldn’t add to his scoreline as Invicta sidelined Ashford Town 7-2 in the FA Cup on Saturday September 18 to stage a third qualifying round at home against NHL North Gloucester City on October 2.

He was on the bench and emerged in the second half as Yusuff showed his class with a hat-trick while Smith was also on target.

Folkestone Invicta play at Cheriton Road, Folkestone, Kent.


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