Wednesday 09th June 2004

Lakin: It's time to achieve something

Newly appointed Erith & Belvedere boss sets his sights high

NEWLY appointed Erith & Belvedere manager Barry Lakin is using his contacts to bring long-awaited success to the Park View Road outfit, writes www.kentishfootball.co.uk editor Stephen McCartney.

The 30-year-old, who lives in Chelmsford, Essex, close to current Welling United boss Paul Parker, took over at the helm from Kevin Hales, who was recently appointed assistant manager at ambitious Conference South outfit Hornchurch.

Lakin and Hales first met when they were both players at Leyton Orient.  Lakin spent six years at Brisbane Road before his professional career was halted following two ankle injuries.

But the drop was only one league and he turned out for Welling United – then a Conference outfit, before moving on to Chelmsford City before playing for Kent League side Deal Town in 2000 and  played a handful of games for Erith & Belvedere before coaching in America.

Lakin spent two-and-a-half-years in America coaching Boston side Capecod Crusaders before returning to England where he set up the Chelmsford City Youth Academy and their PASE scheme and played under Parker in the first team.

Following a successful first campaign, Lakin left Chelmsford to set up his own company  www.thesportsacademy.org, and this took up a lot of his time and his football career was put on the back burner for a while.

However, at the beginning of last season, he was appointed player-coach at Tiptree United but was forced to leave the club in October due to heavy work commitments.

But he was soon working with Hales again, as his number two at Erith & Belvedere, and the pair certainly enjoyed each other’s company because the last thing Hales did before moving to Hornchurch was to recommend Lakin to the directors at the club to be his replacement.

Lakin, however, is confident he can bring success to Erith & Belvedere – starved of glory for such a long time – despite this being his first manager’s job at first team level.

But he is relishing the opportunity and has already built up his back-room team, who will have many contacts in the game to make it a success.

Steve Robinson has joined the club from local rivals Dartford and Grant Spelling has made the switch from Go Travel Kent League outfit VCD Athletic.

Lakin said: “I think it’s a great opportunity for all three of us to achieve something.”

Speaking about his plans, Lakin added:  “I am hoping to get a very good squad together to challenge for the championship.”

Lakin announced nineteen-year-old Lewis Tozer has signed a one-year-contract after impressing in the last eight games of last season.

Lakin said: “I knew him from a contact from a while back.  He recommended Lewis to Kevin (Hales) and he played for Erith & Belvedere for the last eight games of last season, and he was outstanding.

“He liked what he saw in the football club with Kevin and I and he signed a one-year-contract.”

The former Leicester City player has been appointed captain.

Ryan Briggs has re-signed on non-contract terms and the majority of last season’s squad have been invited back for pre-season training, although Scott Saunders has joined Chatham Town.

But Lakin is still working to bring players to the club, and he added: “Erith & Belvedere are now getting established at Welling and it’s time to achieve something!”

Send in your club's news to Stephen McCartney
Email:  stephen@mccartney2000.fsnet.co.uk

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