New manager Sean Birchnall has wasted no time adding to his squad as Farnham Town are thrilled to welcome the signing of midfielder Kane Fitzgerald from fellow Combined Counties League Premier Division South outfit Badshot Lea FC.
Fitzgerald leaves The Baggies after a standout season to join Birchnall’s project at The Memorial Ground. His 14 goals last season as club captain saw Kane rewarded with the Player’s Player, Manager’s Player and Supporter’s Player of the Season awards at Badshot Lea in 2021/22 following spells with Ashford Town, Knaphill, Bracknell Town and Binfield.
A creative midfielder who likes to dictate the play, Fitzgerald will be an exciting addition to the Farnham Town squad for the 2022/23 season. Speaking to the club after signing, Kane speaks about the exciting trajectory the club is on, and how that was a big draw for him.
“I feel like the people in charge there [at Farnham Town], I know them, I trust them. It seems like a club that really really wants to push on. The stuff that’s going on behind-the-scenes is really exciting and it shows where this club wants to be.
“Sean [Birchnall] is a great character, he’s really welcomed me. What he has planned for me is something that I definitely, definitely want to be a part of. It shows his intent and how he sees me as a player, values me as a player as well, which is good to hear.
“I’m a ball player, I love getting on the ball, creating stuff. Hopefully getting the crowd standing up at times, getting the team going, really dictating games – I’ll always give 100% and work hard for the team.”
Birchnall outlines that bringing Kane to the club was his “number one target” since stepping through the doors at The Memorial Ground.
“Signing Kane [Fitzgerald] has been our number one target since we came to the football club. We’ve targeted probably three or four players that we believe will enhance the current squad that we inherited from last season.
“What I think he has realised is that from a coaching perspective we have a lot of knowledge and experience at Step 4 and Step 5, and also as a football club we’re moving forward, and this whole project appealed to him and is something he wants to be a part of.”
Talking about what Kane will offer the first team, Birchnall outlines his leadership qualities as an important attribute to bring into the side, and hopes he will be able to drive the team onwards each week.
“His technical ability as a football player is not in question. What he does also bring is his leadership qualities on the field of play. We will be putting a lot of pressure on him to not only take control of games with his presence and his ability, but also to spread that amongst the squad – some of the younger ones especially – and use his experience to develop them and drive the team forward during games all the way through the season.
“He’s not made that decision to leave Badshot Lea without believing in the project that we have here at Farnham Town. We realise that it was quite a big decision for him, but hopefully he will see the benefits of being at Farnham, and so will others, and hopefully the rest of the key signings that we’re aiming for will also follow.”
Club Chairman, Paul Tanner, labels Fitzgerald’s arrival as a “huge statement” of the club’s intentions for the coming season and beyond, and praises Sean & his management team for pulling off the deal.
“For me, it’s a great signing. It’s a huge statement, and that’s the kind of stuff that we want to see happening at the club, especially on the playing side. We want people to realise where we want to move to and what we’re capable of dealing with on the playing side.
“Sean [Birchnall] and his guys are all involved in that and we want to back him as hard as possible to make sure it is a little bit easier for him to approach this high quality of player.”