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Barking 'on way back up' after bad times

PUBLISHED: 16:30 06 September 2019

Barking's Luke Seeley

Barking's Luke Seeley

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Vice-captain Luke Seeley believes Barking are on their way back up after some admittedly 'bad times'.

Seeley, a member of the Queens Guards Household Division, is starting his third season with the Gale Street club, having previously played for Stanford, South Woodham Ferrers, Essex, the Army and England Counties.

And he has used his military contacts wisely, saying: "Barking has not had the best few years and we want to turn the tide. We've brought some Fijian lads in from the Army team and it's a style of rugby needed at the club.

"We've only got one senior team, the under-17s and 16s, and want to get a second team. We've got a pool of about 40 players, including some older, experienced players coming back.

"I could see there were a few problems at Barking when I joined and I like a challenge. I didn't realise how big a challenge it was - two relegations in two years.

"But we want to get on the climb now. It's definitely a year that Barking can rise back up."

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Barking managed eight wins in 22 matches in London Three Essex last season, after just one victory in Two South East the year before that.

And Seeley says they are setting their sights on a return to former glories, having been a National League One club in 2011/12.

He added: "It's not a quick fix. The Fijians are on three-year Army contracts and the plan is to get back to London One and then start thinking about National again.

"The London Scottish game (promotion decider May 2011) is still talked about and we need to eradicate it.

"Anthony Boyce is fresh in as coach for his first proper senior appointment having worked with Kings Cross Steelers and as an Essex community coach and has brought the fun back into training.

"It's a good club to be at. There's definitely a different feel about the place with the Fijians and their exciting rugby, the cheeky offloads and round-the-corner passes.

"We all want to be here and even the old boys are cracking smiles. We've got a fan base again, we're generating interest and we've got a platform to grow."

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