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Kick-Off: Isthmian North safety the sole aim as Barking prepare for a step up

PUBLISHED: 09:00 10 August 2017

Barking's Justin Gardner shouts out instructions as Glen Golby (right) looks on (pic Terry Gilbert)

Barking's Justin Gardner shouts out instructions as Glen Golby (right) looks on (pic Terry Gilbert)

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After winning the Essex Senior League last term, the Blues are back in the eighth tier and joint-boss Glen Golby is looking forward to the challenge

Barking's Steve Willis gets up for a header against Dagenham & Redbridge in pre-season (pic Terry Gilbert)Barking's Steve Willis gets up for a header against Dagenham & Redbridge in pre-season (pic Terry Gilbert)

Barking joint-manager Glen Golby says the upcoming Isthmian North season is all about avoiding the drop.

The Blues are back in the eighth tier of English football after winning the Essex Senior League title last term.

This year, only one team will be relegated from the Isthmian North owing to a change in league structure from the 2018-19 season.

And Golby believes that finishing the term in a position of safety will be a highly successful campaign for the Mayesbrook Park club.

“For us, this season is all about survival and if we stay up, then we can assess next year’s budget on the crowds we get,” he said.

“It’s taken 11 years for the club to get back to this level, so anything above second bottom is a success.”

Over the summer, Golby has been joined at the helm by former Aveley boss Justin Gardner, who has arrived at Barking as joint-manager.

Last season, Gardner was assistant manager at big-spending Billericay Town of the Isthmian Premier, but Golby believes his addition to the coaching staff is a huge coup for the Blues.

“Justin has been a manager at this level for a long time and he has many contacts in the game which will help us,” he added.

“He has plenty of good relationships, so that can help sway some boys to join us over other clubs who might be offering a bit more money than us.”

Gardner has already worked his magic in bringing in players he has previously worked with, such as midfielder Abs Seymour.

Barking have also recruited plenty of other players with knowledge of the Isthmian North, which Golby feels is crucial after promotion last term.

“It’s crucial that we were able to bring in some players with experience of this level because they know what to expect,” he said.

“Some of the boys we’ve kept from last season haven’t played at this level before, so the new players who have, can help in that respect.”

Golby did add, though, that he will again be looking to use the cups as an opportunity to give game time to those in need, but he does not feel he will be weakening his team.

“Everyone we have here is of a good quality, so whoever comes in to play those cup games is a good player. If we get a good run, it would be a bonus,” he said.


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