Kick-off: Michael Walther excited about Barkingside’s future and plots future glory with the Essex Senior League club

PUBLISHED: 14:00 10 August 2017

A Barkingside player (blue) tries to win the ball back off Barking's Daniel McCulloch (pic: Terry Gilbert).

A Barkingside player (blue) tries to win the ball back off Barking's Daniel McCulloch (pic: Terry Gilbert).


Ex-Clapton boss discusses aim for Cricklefield Stadium club and how he would like to achieve more success in the cups

Michael Walther on the Old Spotted Dog touchline during his spell as Clapton manager (pic: Tim Edwards).Michael Walther on the Old Spotted Dog touchline during his spell as Clapton manager (pic: Tim Edwards).

Michael Walther believes he is at a club which can grow over the next couple of years and improve in Barkingside.

The former Clapton boss took over at Cricklefield Stadium in the summer after Gursel Gulfer resigned following two seasons in charge.

Walther’s most recent role was as assistant with Essex Senior League rivals Stansted and before that he spent two successful years at the Old Spotted Dog with the Tons.

But ahead of his third job in the division, the Side boss feels he is at a club which can kick on and maybe return to Isthmian level in time.

“I feel we can attract a good standard of players at Barkingside,” said Walther.

“With Clapton they are always going to get people because of the fans, but I think they maybe get younger players looking to make their way in the game.

“I believe we can get more established guys at this club, so if we can start well that will help.

“I do feel I am at a club which can push on this season, but it obviously depends on how well we can do early on.”

Walther enjoyed plenty of success in cup competitions at Clapton and would love to do the same at Barkingside.

During his first campaign in charge at Tons, he guided the club to the final of the League Challenge Cup and the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy – losing both.

But Walther ended Clapton’s 27-year wait for silverware by helping them earn glory in the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy during the 2015/16 season.

Although it is early days, the Side boss believes his new-look squad have several good qualities which could help them gain cup success.

“With the players we have got, I feel we can win any game if we perform to our best,” said Walther.

“When we played Aveley, of the Isthmian North, during pre-season it was a really

fast-paced match and like a cup tie in many ways.

“It was 3-3 at half time and we had to come from behind and we did that and of course it was only a friendly, but it bodes well going forward.

“To win in the cups you need to play for 90 minutes and sometimes longer and I am sure we can do that.”

What will help Walther at Barkingside this season is having a consistent squad to pick from in every game.

At times during his spell in charge of Clapton, the experienced manager would have to deal with late drop-outs on match days.

But Walther hopes it will be different as boss of the Cricklefield Stadium club, he added: “The squad we had during my first season at Clapton was very talented, but it was hard to get consistency.

“Our players would turn up for some games and then not for others, although it did improve in my second year.

“I then spent last season as Stansted’s assistant and you find clubs like that and Sawbridgeworth and Takeley have much better consistency.

“They don’t struggle with people dropping out and I am hoping we don’t have much of that problem at Barkingside.

“What should help is that I have brought this group together, so we should be consistent when it comes to team selection.

“During the first couple of weeks we have some people away on holiday, but that just offers an opportunity to others.”

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