Essex Senior League: Barkingside manager Gursel Gulfer admits promotion dream is over this season

PUBLISHED: 16:00 11 November 2016

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

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

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Side boss reveals planning is already underway for title assault next year

Manager Gursel Gulfer says he has already written off Barkingside’s chances of winning promotion back to the Ryman North this season.

Side were relegated to the Essex Senior League last term and have found the going tough, with the Cricklefield Stadium club currently stuck in mid-table and on a five-game winless streak.

But even though there is still more than half the current season to go, Gulfer says he has held talks with chairman Jimmy Flanaghan about building the squad for next year.

“We won’t be going back up this season as we’re 18 points back from the leaders which is too much to bridge with the season almost halfway gone,” said Gulfer.

“I’ve already had discussions with Jimmy and he is happy for me to use the rest of the season to rebuild in preparation for next season.

“I didn’t think the league would be this tough, but the injuries and suspensions this season are killing us.

“We’re still in a couple of cup competitions, so we’re hoping we can perform well in one of those.”

Gulfer will hope his charges can end their recent struggles in the league when Barkingside visit Clapton this weekend.

The hosts are backed by strong support at the Old Spotted Dog ground, regularly attracting crowds of over 200.

And Gulfer is looking forward to managing in such a unique situation, especially as he returns to his old stamping ground, adding: “It has the kind of atmosphere that I love and it is one of my old clubs, so I’m looking forward to going back.

“Clapton are a good side and in good form, but they’ll have to work hard if they want another win as we’ll be determined.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ilford Recorder