PRE-SEASON FIXTURES ANNOUNCED: Tunbridge Wells (H), Margate (H), Kings Hill (A), Maidstone United (H), Eastbourne Town (H), Folkestone Invicta (H), K Sports (A), Sevenoaks Town (H), Whitstable Town (H), Kennington (H) - See www.ashfordunitedfc.com/fixtures for more details!

Gills To Visit Homelands

Ashford United have secured their first big coup ahead of the new season - a pre-season visit of League Two champions Gillingham.

Martin Allen guided the Gills to the title last season in just his first year in charge at Priestfield.

There they will take on the likes of Wolves and Sheffield United – but on Saturday, June 29, the league-winning squad will be in action at Homelands (3pm).

United chairman Ernie Warren said: “It’s brilliant news for the club and the town.

“It’s a chance for everyone to come and see a massively successful league club, who won the title last season, appear on their door-steps.

“We feel hugely privileged to welcome Martin Allen and his players to Homelands and we can only thank chairman Paul Scally and the club for their help in getting the game on.”

United took on Gillingham in their first game since being reborn back in 2011 and welcomed more than 1,100 fans to Homelands.

It’s hoped that number can be eclipsed next month as fans supporters come out in force to see a Gills side punching their weight in the third tier of English football.

“We don’t know what players they’ll have out but one thing is for sure – it’ll be a very, very tough game,” Warren said.

“Last time Gillingham put out a really strong side but it was a great day for everyone who came in.

“It’s not often our players will get a chance to take on full-time, professional footballers.”

Club owner Tony Betteridge echoed Warren’s sentiments and admitted he cannot wait to see the Gills in action at Homelands.

Betteridge said: “It was a brilliant day back in 2011 and now, thanks to Paul Scally and Martin Allen, Gillingham are coming back again.

“They did brilliantly last season to win the League Two championship so to be able to host them is a real honour.”