Barkingside boss Walther is targeting an improved second season in hotseat

PUBLISHED: 13:00 08 August 2018

Barkingside manager Michael Walther (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Barkingside manager Michael Walther (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

In an article from our ‘Kick-Off’ pullout, Side manager Michael Walther previews the Essex Senior League season

Barkingside manager Michael Walther has his sights sets on firmly looking up the table in his second season in charge of the club in the Essex Senior League.

After taking over from former boss Gursel Gulfer last summer, Walther’s first campaign in charge of Side saw the team finish in 16th place.

For much of the term, the Cricklefield Stadium club flirted with danger and that is something which Walther is keen to avoid a repeat of this season.

But as for a tangible aim in the league for the upcoming campaign, the Barkingside boss was fairly coy about what his squad could achieve.

“The main aim is to improve on last season and anything above that is a bonus,” he said.

“We’ll take it game-by-game because the Essex Senior League has proven to be a very unpredictable league.

“There are some teams who have a budget and can pay players, but for us it is about finding the rough diamonds and turning them into gems.

“There were a few games last year when we lost by the odd goal, but in those games we matched a lot of the bigger teams.

“That shows we can be competitive, but we need to turn those narrow losses into wins and that is our aim for the season.”

With Walther now in his second season in the job, the Barkingside boss has a greater understanding of his squad this term.

The former Clapton manager admits his first season in charge of Side was tough with regards to building a squad capable of being competitive.

But Walther now feels that with a season at Cricklefield Stadium under his belt, he has been able to put together a team over the summer to do what he wants.

“We didn’t have to look for players at Clapton as we had a good core and you would regularly get players contacting you who were keen to join,” he added.

“At Barkingside last summer, it was a case of starting from scratch and that meant you didn’t know how committed players were until around October, which didn’t help.

“The Essex Senior League is a long season and you need players to be committed, to show up to training and be able to play regularly.

“We have had more enquiries this season and we’re trying to give more young players a chance.”

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