Barkingside chief has extension plans

Fenn calls for Essex Senior League to push back finish.

AFTER ANOTHER TWO weeks without action, Barkingside boss Tony Fenn believes the Essex Senior League have got to look at extending the season.

’Side missed a whole month in December and despite getting back into action with a 6-2 win over Takeley over a fortnight ago, Fenn has seen clashes with Sawbridgeworth Town and Barking postponed in the last week due to the state of their Oakside pitch.

With 21 games in the league still remaining and with the likelihood of more cancellations, the Barkingside boss cannot see any other solution than for the season to be extended.

“The pitch at the moment is in a very poor state and the goalmouths are particularly bad,” he said.

“Even the chance of Saturday’s game against Clapton getting the go-ahead doesn’t look likely.

“Monday maybe okay, but we are nowhere near half-way through our programme.

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“Three games a week looks likely and there is no way any squad, even the professionals, could deal with that week in week out.

“The players struggle to get the time off work now for one midweek game, so if you are looking at having two every week, it will be even worse. It is something the league should look into changing.

“Even if it is just by two weeks it gives teams the possibility of around four games in that time.”

His side have still been able to train, and Fenn was looking to get a friendly with Ryman One North side Brentwood Town on Saturday, but after they parted company with former Ilford boss Les Whitton that possibility was eradicated.

And with their inactivity, Fenn feels any game will be tough, with proposed home games against Clapton at the weekend and Bethnal Green United on Monday night.

“I don’t think there are any easy games in this league any more,” he said.

“Clapton have improved a lot and always seem to play well against us and it is definitely going to be hard.

“Bethnal Green are not a bad side either and will be another tough test against a side above us in the league.

“I would like to get a game in before then, even if it is a friendly at the weekend if the Clapton game is off. You can do all the training in the world, but after a while of that, the players need to start playing again. But we’ll wait and see if we can get the games on, it will just be nice to have a game to talk about!”