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Barking assistant Thomas is looking forward to playing against Ashman and Cook

PUBLISHED: 10:00 17 August 2018

Barking's Daniel Cheema on the ball against Canvey Island (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

Barking's Daniel Cheema on the ball against Canvey Island (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

Archant

Barking will play their first home game of the season when they welcome Witham Town to Mayesbrook Park this weekend.

Barking's Joe Benjamin makes a late move towards goal against Canvey Island (Pic: Terry Gilbert)Barking's Joe Benjamin makes a late move towards goal against Canvey Island (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

The Blues will be desperate to get some points on the board on Saturday after falling to a narrow 1-0 defeat to promotion hopefuls Canvey Island last weekend.

And assistant manager Andre Thomas is looking forward to coming up against two of his former players Nathan Cook and Johnny Ashman who he worked with during his time at Clapton.

“I’m over the moon Nathan finally got to make the step up,” Thomas said.

“He is a brilliant footballer and an even better person, I wish him nothing but success this season but I want that to start after he faces us.

“It’ll be good to see him and Johnny Ashman again.

“It’ll be 90 minutes of trying to stop their brilliance and then 30 minutes in the bar after talking about life and see how they’re doing.”

Thomas is expecting a tough test due to the likes of Ashman and Cook as well as their new manager Mark Ashford who joined the club in the summer.

“We’re going up against a top manager and good friend in Mark Ashford with quality players like Johnny Ashman and Nathan Cook.

“They’re also looking to get some points on the board so it should be entertaining.”

But the assistant says his side are confident ahead of the clash and is eager to get a result especially as they lost on both occasions to The Town last season.

“We’ve got to be confident, we’re at home, we didn’t play badly against Canvey and we’ll be working on things in training that’ll help us,” Thomas said.

“We’re going for a result and we need to this weekend.”

The former Clapton assistant boss Thomas also feels the side is coming together nicely already this season even after just one game.

“The boys have been brilliant - Joe Benjamin, Garry Cohen, Joe Bruce and Abs Seymour all playing integral parts helping everyone feel part of the team.

“Even Billy Reynolds from the sidelines is making sure we stick together and understand after a win we don’t get too high and after a loss we don’t get too low, it’s all about balance and knowing regardless of the situation we go again.”

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