Barkingside’s run gives Gulfer hope

PUBLISHED: 10:00 22 April 2016

Gursel Gulfer, manager of Barkingside (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Gursel Gulfer, manager of Barkingside (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 8450 946026

Side boss says late run of form will lead to success next season

Gursel Gulfer says a strong end to the season from Barkingside should give their fans hope for next year, regardless of which divison they are in.

Side know they will finish 23rd in Ryman North, which would normally result in a return to the Essex Senior League.

But ahead of their final game of the current season, which is at home to Dereham Town on Saturday, there is still hope the club may receive a reprieve.

Of the clubs currently 23rd in the regional Ryman Leagues, Barkingside’s points per game average is significantly better than Peacehaven & Telscombe.

For that to matter, though, five other teams would need to be unable to fulfil their fixtures at step four of the non-league pyramid next season.

Gulfer knows that means the chance of avoiding the drop is slim, but a third straight win would set the team up well for next year, even if they go down.

“It’s all about keeping the good mood at the club currently going and a win on Saturday would certainly do that,” said the Side boss.

“I’m delighted with the response from the boys since we were relegated, they’re playing like men possessed!

“We’ve recorded our first back-to-back wins this season and we’re keen to make it three in a row this weekend.

“Ending with a win at home would be great, especially for the fans, and we’re confident we can do it in style.”

Part of Gulfer’s belief that the team can do well next season is due to his confidence he can keep the squad together over the summer.

The Cricklefield Stadium club have used over 100 players this season as their manager sought to find the right formula and Gulfer appears to have found it, albeit too late, with a 2-1 win over Brightlingsea Regent on Saturday, following a 4-0 romp at home to Romford last week.

Striker Tyrone Scarlett netted in both of those matches, his first strikes for the club since returning for a second stint this season.

Scarlett’s effort at Regent was particularly impressive, with Gulfer hailing it as the club’s goal of the season.

With shots like that in his armoury, there could be no shortage of suitors for Scarlett in the summer. But Gulfer is confident he can hang on to his star striker and keep him for next season.

“We want to keep Tyrone at the club because he showed with his goal at Brightlingsea that he is a brilliant talent and we’re confident we can,” he added.

“We know it will be difficult and there will be clubs sniping around trying to get him, but we’re hopeful Tyrone will stay.”

The real battle will come, though, if Barkingside do not get the reprieve they hope for as Gulfer looks to build a team capable of challenging for the Essex Senior League title.

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