Cowes Sports, the highest ranked football club on the Isle of Wight, are making big plans for the new season, even though no one knows yet exactly when that will be.
Cowes, known as the Yachtsmen, play in the Wessex League, Premier Division, and having struggled near the foot of the table for much of last season, before the lockdown ended the campaign prematurely, they are determined there will be no repeat of that scenario.
Manager Max Draper has already made two key signings in free-scoring John McKie and dominant defender Callum Chase, with other players being lined up. There have also been several changes in the club’s coaching staff.
McKie played for the Yachtsmen for several seasons, and also had one spell as caretaker manager, before deciding to spend the last campaign at Hamble Club. But he returned to the Yachtsmen in March, making just one appearance and scoring twice in the 4-4 draw with Fleet, before the lockdown. After that game, the talented talisman hinted he may retire from the game, but has now re-signed for the Island outfit, and has immediately been appointed the new club captain.
Meanwhile, Chase, who also had a spell with Hamble Club last season, pledged his future to the Yachtsmen when the player-signing window opened earlier today.
Boss Draper said: “They are two great captures for us. John McKie has been a massive part of this club in the past. He knows it and so do all the lads. He guarantees you goals, while Callum Chase will strengthen our defence, and I’m delighted to have them back on board.”
McKie said: “Overall I’ve played about six seasons for Cowes, so it was quite an easy decision for me. I think these are exciting times for the club, and everyone knows how close I am to it. I still think it is the best club on the Island with the best facilities, and still playing at the highest level of football that you can here.”
The Yachtsmen also have three fully qualified coaches in place for when the new season finally gets underway. Alex Smith has returned to the club as part of the first team coaching staff, while Steve Mumford has left as reserve team coach to be replaced by another ex-Yachtsmen Mark Randall, who will be assisted by Danny Stimson.
Pictured: Manager Max Draper and striker John McKie