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Don't let recession scupper our Fleet' - Ebbsfleet skipper issues rallying call

PUBLISHED: 16:32 11 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:27 23 August 2010

EBBSFLEET United club captain Paul McCarthy wants the Fleet s thousands of owners to put their credit crunch fears to one side and help them navigate safely through choppy economic waters. The renewal date of February 19, next Thursday, looms large on t

EBBSFLEET United club captain Paul McCarthy wants the Fleet's thousands of owners to put their credit crunch fears to one side and help them navigate safely through choppy economic waters.

The renewal date of February 19, next Thursday, looms large on the horizon for many members of the MyFootballClub (MyFC) website - the internet-based society of 32,000 football fans, who pledged £35 each for an equal say in the running of the Stonebridge Road club.

Ebbsfleet's financial plight rests predominantly with the number of subscriptions they receive and McCarthy, like the rest of his FA Trophy-winning squad, hopes this ground-breaking initiative does not suffer its own 'second-season syndrome'.

"Times are hard for people, because of this recession, so we need all the support we can get," the skipper admitted. "It has been proven that you need financial backing to be a success and it would be a shame if it was to dwindle in the second year, especially after the success last season.

"I would encourage anyone to get involved because it can be a great bit of fun and where else can you have an input into the running of a football club for that kind of money?"

On the pitch, McCarthy is desperate to make a quick return to first-team action. The experienced Irishman's presence at the heart of the Fleet's defence has been sorely missed and the side's recent dip in form has coincided with a succession of niggling injuries that has left him sidelined since last October .

"I came back in a friendly, but broke down. However, now I just need a non-competitive opportunity to come round again," he said.

"I am still really enjoying my football, but this injury has been really disappointing and it's a long time since I've missed this much.

Although the season has been largely disappointing for the Fleet - they are currently languishing in 16th, just four points outside the relegation places - McCarthy feels there is still a lot to play for.

He added: "Of course it has been disappointing, but we are still in two cup competitions and we have the players at the club that make us know we can do a lot better."

McCarthy is looking forward to renewing his partnership with either of the Fleet's other two central defensive stalwarts - Darius Charles and England 'C' captain James Smith.

MyFC members recently overwhelmingly voted to buy Charles from Brentford after a successful loan period at the club and McCarthy believes the 21-year-old will prove to be a great acquisition for a knockdown price of £25,000.

"He is a really talented player who I can't believe for got for as little as we did," he said. "He has a great future in the game and we have certainly missed him when he has been injured.

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