June 19 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Alan Dickens has witnessed his side only have three pre-season games due to pitch unavailability and weather.
There may only have been three pre-season games for Barking ahead of Saturday’s Essex Senior League start but manager Alan Dickens has confidence in his squad.
The Blues opening two pre-season games were called off due to the poor weather and unavailable pitches, but they have hit back in recent weeks with wins in their latest fixtures against Romford (4-2) last Tuesday and Thurrock (3-0) on Saturday.
And after finding out they will host Southend Manor in their season opener this weekend, Dickens is optimistic of a good season for the Mayesbrook Park outfit.
“We have only had the three pre-season games, but the other coaches and I have been happy with how it has gone,” said Dickens.
“The lads have shown good fitness levels and that is important at the start of any season.
“Opening up against Southend Manor should be an interesting game.
“Over the last few years they have been up towards the top of the division like us and will be a good early gauge of how we will do.”
The squad for the new campaign has a core of last season’s players, with striker Petrit Elbi extending his spell at the club after joining towards the end of the last campaign.
He will once again form a dangerous pairing with Chas Liddiard up front, while new faces include goalkeeper Christian Buffor, Andy McDonald and Stuart Houghton.
“It is a lot of last season’s team, which was a good side and with a few additions we think we have a strong side once again,” added Dickens.
After Saturday’s opener against Southend Manor, the Blues host Bethnal Green United on Tuesday night, now managed by Anton Stephenson, before they start their FA Cup campaign against Staines Llamas in the extra preliminary round the following weekend.
And despite three games in seven days so early in the season, Dickens feels it will do his squad the world of good.
“Only having three pre-season games could make it interesting,” he said.
“But the games come up thick and fast early on so that will help everyone settle in to the season nicely,” he said.
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