July 24 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Manager encouraged by number of returnees
Barkingside begin preparations for their upcoming campaign with a new stadium and new ambitions.
The Sky Blues experienced a tough first season in Ryman Division One North after getting off to a less than desired start following promotion from the Essex Senior League.
Matt Frew’s men did finish the season in style though, losing only two of their last 10 games and ensured their survival in the process.
Barkingside begin their 2014/15 campaign in new surroundings as, following a 56-year stay at Oakside, they will now groundshare with Ilford at Cricklefield.
And manager Frew has been encouraged by the number of players who have returned to the club, saying: “I’ve managed to retain most of the squad and I knew it was going to be hard as we don’t have the budget.
“The majority have put pen to paper which I pleased about.”
Frew has taken his team back early this time around to eleviate any concerns he had over fitness ahead of their first friendly.
“We have gone back early because last season I didn’t think we were quite fit enough,” he said.
“The boys have been working hard on their fitness, our first friendly is on July 17 and we should have our fitness sorted by then.”
Frew is certainly keen to get some of his new players involved in the friendlies and use them to good effect.
He added: “The game plan (for the first friendly) is to get the new players involved and see how they gel with the old squad and work on tactics and of course match fitness.
“I’ve tried to pick trialists who can push the players I have already.
“It’s also a chance for them to prove they are ready and want a shirt on the starting day of the season.”
Frew has set his sights firmly on a mid-table finish this term and is keen to avoid any relegation scraps.
“I said to them you have to find the form you found at the end of last season,” he added.
“We kept on believing and that’s what we wanted to install in the players. We became a hard team to play against and we started to play direct football.
“My aim this year, and it will be hard, is to finish mid-table.
“I know that will be hard without the budget but I aim high, I don’t want to be down there in a relegation battle.
“If we do that, it will job done.”