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Essex League Division One B: Mark Collins predicts high-scoring encounter between his Dagenham and Bancroft

PUBLISHED: 10:30 14 September 2017

Mark Collins provides instructions from the sideline (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).

Mark Collins provides instructions from the sideline (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

Central Park outfit began campaign with defeat at home to Old Brentwoods, but are keen to bounce back away to Buckhurst Hill-based club

Mark Collins expects Dagenham to give Bancroft a good challenge in the Essex League Division One B this weekend after making an encouraging start to the season.

The D’s lost 28-15 at home to Old Brentwoods on the opening day, but their experienced coach saw plenty of positives.

Ahead of their short trip to Buckhurst Hill this Saturday, Collins is expecting a fixture full of entertainment.

He said: “Bancroft went down 45-29 to Ilford Wanderers last weekend, so that was fairly close, but defences were not on top.

“We will take a squad to them on Saturday and have a go and we will see what happens in the first round of matches.

“I know for sure we will be more competitive this season, so hopefully we can do well at the weekend and get a good result.”

Dagenham will be without Chris Rawlinson for the clash at Bancroft, as the D’s captain is away on holiday.

Ian Drake should be fighting fit though, after missing the defeat to Old Brentwoods, and the Central Park club will virtually have a full-strength squad to pick from.

“Chris is missing this weekend because he is away on holiday. I never seem to have him at this time because last September he got married,” laughed Collins.

“No, fair play to him he is going away with the family, but I am hopeful we will have Ian back, so he can fill the void.

“We have one or two others who may be available, but the squad will not be much-changed, so let’s see how we get on.”

Although Dagenham started the 2017/18 campaign with a defeat, Collins was delighted with the attitude of his squad.

The former Romford & Gidea Park head coach praised their commitment and knows if it stays the same through the season, then the local club will enjoy success this term.

Collins added: “The attitude from start to finish was excellent and they did everything I wanted on Saturday.

“I was really pleased with what I saw when I walked onto the training paddock before the Old Brentwoods match.

“They were all doing the jobs at hand and it does seem it has sunk in for them what is required for us to do well as a club. I saw plenty of encouragement at the weekend and hopefully after doing a couple of things with them in training this week we can go again at Bancroft and do well.”

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