Holidaying Haywood keeping tabs on Ilford

PUBLISHED: 13:36 09 August 2013

Ilford begin the Essex Senior League season this weekend

Ilford begin the Essex Senior League season this weekend


New boss to miss Essex Senior League kick-off

Martin Haywood might not be present for Ilford’s opening two games of the Essex Senior League season but has warned his players he will be keeping tabs.

Haywood is currently on holiday with his family, leaving coaches Kevin Head and Tony Baptiste in control.

The temporary management team will take charge of the opening day trip to Sawbridgeworth tomorrow (Saturday) and a home meeting with Basildon on Wednesday before Haywood returns.

He said: “The holiday was booked before the Ilford job was even a possibility but I have cut it short for the FA Cup game against Newmarket Town on August 17.

“Although I would prefer to be there myself I have complete confidence that they (Head and Baptiste) will steer the lads off to a good, strong start.”

Former Barking youth team coach Haywood only took the Ilford job this summer and spent most of pre-season building a new team after many players left.

But despite the squad being somewhat thrown together, the manager is happy enough ahead of their first league fixture.

“I am very happy with the squad considering we had to assemble a whole new team from scratch with no existing players coming forward,” he said.

“As I am sure is the case with any team I would like to strengthen in one or two areas but, with the lads I’ve got, I can’t fault their effort, dedication and commitment so far.”

With so many changes – both on and off the field – during the off-season it is no surprise Haywood has few aims for the 2013-14 campaign.

“To be completely honest all I am hoping for at this stage is that we have put together a team that is able to compete and win games at this level,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to getting home, getting stuck in and seeing how the season pans out.”

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