Barkingside boss Walther is excited for visit from former club Clapton in the league

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 September 2018

Barkingside boss Michael Walther (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Barkingside boss Michael Walther (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Barkingside boss Michael Walther comes up against former club Clapton when they visit in the Essex Senior League on Friday night, writes Ned Keating.

Current Barkingside boss Michael Walther during his time in charge of Clapton (pic: Tim Edwards)Current Barkingside boss Michael Walther during his time in charge of Clapton (pic: Tim Edwards)

Walther was in charge of the Tons for almost two-and-a-half years before resigning as manager in the early part of the 2016/17 campaign.

After a stint as assistant manager at divisional rivals Stansted, Walther took over in the hotseat at Barkingside in the summer of last year.

Walther is still on the lookout for his first win over Clapton as Barkingside boss, having lost both league meetings last term.

And the current Side manager is looking forward to seeing plenty of familiar faces on Friday, saying: “I know their manager (Jonny Fowell) well, their assistant manager (Ray Bartlett) was my assistant earlier in the season, and I know a lot of their squad too.

“I think we’re very similar to Clapton in the way we play and the way that we are trying to play.

“A big difference at the minute is that Clapton have players who are clinical, whereas we could create similar chances and not take them.

“Clapton have been together as a squad a bit longer too, so they know each others’ games more while we’re still learning about one another.”

With the game taking place on Friday night, it is hoped there might be a few more through the gate than usual at Cricklefield Stadium.

And Walther is happy to welcome any casual fans to Barkingside’s next league encounter.

“Hopefully we might get a few groundhoppers to boost the gate against Clapton,” he added.

“Whenever we play at night, be it on a Friday or a Monday, the attendance seems to be a little bit bigger.

“We might only get 50 or 60 turn up on a Saturday, but we’re able to get a few more for a night game.

“I know the Clapton Ultras no longer follow Clapton like they used to, but hopefully there’s still a good crowd on Friday.”

Barkingside head into the game looking having lost 1-0 at home to West Essex in the league on Monday night.

That followed an FA Vase exit at home to Wodson Park at the weekend, with Side losing on penalties after the match ended 1-1 after extra time, with Jacob Dingli netting for Walther’s men.

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