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Barking ready for final friendly as boss Gardner hails Newcastle trip

PUBLISHED: 10:00 03 August 2018

Barking boss Justin Gardner (pic: Terry Gilbert/Barking FC)

Barking boss Justin Gardner (pic: Terry Gilbert/Barking FC)

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Blues make trip to VCD Athletic on Saturday

Barking will finalise their preparations ahead of the new Bostik North campaign with one last friendly away to VCD Athletic on Saturday.

The Blues are in the final throes of pre-season, and will look for a victory over the Vickers to give them a boost ahead of starting their league campaign at Canvey Island on August 11.

Though it is only pre-season, Justin Gardner’s men have been clocking up the miles this week.

Last Thursday saw the Mayesbrook Park outfit record a 2-0 win over tenants West Essex, with Larry Akanbi and Daniel Cheema on target against the Essex Senior League side.

That was followed by a lengthy journey to Tyneside for Barking as they headed north for a friendly against Newcastle Benfield of the Ebac Northern League Division One.

Joe Benjamin and Abs Seymour netted the goals for the Blues in a 2-2 draw away to the Lions.

The game saw members of Gardner’s squad pick up more much-needed minutes ahead of the new campaign.

It also offered the team a chance to bond with a weekend in the North East, something which Barking will hope will benefit them next term.

And taking to Twitter, the Blues boss believes the weekend in Tyneside was a huge success for all involved, both on and off the pitch.

Gardner posted: “Good weekend away in Newcastle with the Barking team. We played against a very good Newcastle Benfield team.

“There were good and bad initiation songs by the new players when we went out for dinner, then had a great night out with memories made and some great laughs.”

In a further post, Gardner added: “Would like to thank (chairman) Rob O’Brien, (secretary and treasurer) Keith Whittington and everyone at the club for supporting and backing the trip away for the weekend.

“It was costly, but I think everyone will agree it was well worth it and good for team bonding. All the lads appreciated it.”

The trip to Newcastle and the weekend on Tyneside is sure to have brought the squad together ahead of the new Bostik North season, which is drawing ever closer.

And Gardner hopes the team can reap the rewards of that trip throughout the season, starting by getting a positive result away at Canvey in that first league game on Saturday week.

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