The chairman said he wants a team that will compete week in week out and get a few results that will turn heads, says Gravesham Borough boss Ricky Tompkins
GRAVESHAM BOROUGH manager Ricky Tompkins reflects on an exciting 4-4 draw at Bridon Ropes on the opening day of the season.
Tompkins took charge of the club for the first time for their opening Southern Counties East Football League First Division game in Charlton after guiding Otford United to promotion in his only season in charge of the club.
Reflecting on the eight-goal thriller, Tompkins said: “The team is starting to look stronger each week. I looked at over 45 players in pre-season and tried to get the best quality players and who suits my style of football.
“It’s not been easy at all starting from fresh. No players stayed from last year so literally I was having to find a whole new squad.
“The chairman said he wants a team that will compete week in week out and get a few results that will turn heads.
“I definitely believe this will be the case now as our squad is starting to look very good.
“We travelled to Bridon in our first league game, which we knew wouldn’t be easy away from home.
“I think if I was a neutral watching that game, I think I wouldn’t have been able to ask for a more action packed game but it’s different for us managers!
“Going forward, I thought we were outstanding, some of the build-up play and how quick we broke, was brilliant.
“We had two penalty shouts in the first ten minutes and eventually got the third, which we missed. I think if we scored that we would’ve gone and got more but wasn’t the case and the game was very messy after that.
“I think both teams being the first game made lots of sloppy errors but to be two down with 15 left to play and to pull it back, I’m happy with the point and shows that my lads will never lie down.”
Erith & Belvedere were relegated at the end of last season after finishing rock bottom in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table and are playing in the tenth tier of English football for the first time.
“This is one that I’m really looking forward to because I know some of their management team. I played under Darren Anslow at Deal Town and I’ve known Jamie Leggett for years through football,” revealed Tompkins.
“I know they will be prepared and ready and also buzzing after their first game in The FA Cup where they beat Wick 4-0.
“Having said that they will also know that they will be coming to ours for a tough game and after Saturday’s result, we’re looking for our first win.
“All that will be changed this week is the back-line. In a football game you cannot concede four games so if I tighten that I think we have a great chance tomorrow, we will see.
“We have some great players signed, a few we’re away from that game too, so I’m very excited.”
Tompkins has signed former Sheppey United striker Ross Pagett, 19.
“I think he will cause some chaos this year. He’s 19, quick and can finish from everywhere,” added the Gravesham boss.
Gravesham Borough v Erith & Belvedere
Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Saturday 12th August 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Maidstone Road, Bournville Avenue, Chatham, Kent ME4 6LR