Blues boss pleased with ‘tough’ summer

Barking manager Mick O'Shea (pic: Terry Gilbert).

Barking manager Mick O'Shea (pic: Terry Gilbert). - Credit: Archant

Mayesbrook Park manager discusses friendly fixtures and recent ‘facelift’ day at the club

Barking manager Mick O’Shea jetted off to Turkey this week to recharge his batteries ahead of the new Essex Senior League campaign, but is pleased to have arranged a typically tough pre-season schedule.

The Blues summer plans were revealed at the weekend with a home fixture against Hornchurch, of Ryman North, starting their campaign on July 16.

The annual Peter Webster Trophy match with Tilbury takes place at Mayesbrook Park two days later, while Witham Town visit on July 21, before Barking have a trip to Potton United on July 25.

O’Shea’s Gordon Brasted Trophy winners go to Redbridge – who earned a reprieve from relegation to the Essex Senior League – on July 28, before concluding with an away clash at Three Bridges.

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And the Blues boss is pleased with their plans.

“Hornchurch will be a decent game,” said O’Shea.

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“Their manager Jimmy McFarlane phoned me up about doing that, they are a great club and our pitch should be good then. We have done a lot of work on it.

“Pre-season needs to be tough because we want to be playing at that Ryman level, so we need to test ourselves.”

Barking had a ‘facelift’ day last weekend to get their Mayesbrook Park ground ready for the new season.

O’Shea couldn’t attend, but was pleased to report it was a success, adding: “We had a little work party, I wasn’t there myself because I had a birthday event I needed to be at, but it sounds like quite a bit got done at the ground.”

Club chairman Rob O’Brien was present and getting into the thick of the action.

Although Barking couldn’t get the ground up to the standard they want, a lot of progress was made at the weekend.

O’Brien added: “A big thanks to all of those people that turned out. The overall progress was good, but we still have walls to be completed, painted, etc.

“A big push with lots of support for this event should get us over the finish line. This will enable us to be ready for the start of the season. The first home fixture being July 16.”

Barking will be repeating their ‘facelift’ event on Saturday, July 11. Everyone is welcome with the work starting at noon.

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