Wednesday 27th July 2005

Deres playing to their strengths


Despite losing their first two pre-season friendlies, the assistant manager at Erith & Belvedere insists the team will be ready for their opening Kentish Observer League game of the season, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Deres' have lost twice to Ryman League Division One opposition in Ramsgate (2-0) and Cray Wanderers (2-3) last night but Wayne Baldacchino is confident they will be ready.

They start their league campaign at Sporting Bengal United on Saturday 13th August.

"We're looking forward to the Kent League season, starting at Sporting Bengal" he said in an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk

"It's a bit of a banana skin match but one we are very capable of getting three points from," he added.

But the East Londoners are very unpredictable, as Baldacchino pointed out.

"You never know what to expect.  Look at their results some weeks and they beat the best teams and other weeks they lose, on paper, to lesser sides so we're going there hopefully full of confidence with our strongest eleven available."

The Deres continue their pre-season programme with a trip to Essex Leaguers Basildon United on Saturday and should have Chris Dickson, Gary Cook and Lee Sugden available after holidays.

And Baldacchino, who secured reserve team titles in the last two seasons for the Park View Road club, revealed he is close to adding to the squad in the next few days.

"We are looking at another couple of trialists this week and next.

"Lads that have played at Conference level, coming back from injuries or time out of the game.

"So we are looking to add one or two more experienced quality players between now and the first (league) match."

Baldacchino knows his club are one of the favourites amongst Kent football followers.

"Obviously around the circuit people are saying we are one of the favourites, but as I said in a previous interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk I feel, and everybody at the club feels, we are top three material.

"We are obviously confident, the lads have been training very well, the atmosphere around the place is excellent and you couldn't ask for a better bunch of players."

Before their game with Cray Wanderers last night, the club's under eighteen's were being put through their paces.

This shows there is a good atmosphere between all players and coaches within the club.

Baldacchino admits this is important.

"Basically the lads you see coaching at the highest level at the club now have coached at youth and reserve level," he said.

"So the lads that are playing know all about the coaching and the management style, they know what we expect from them on and off the pitch, as I've also said previously."

And supporters will be seeing a different brand of football this season.

"We tried and I hope the supporters saw (against Cray) that we tried to get a different style of football.

"Hopefully they noticed 75% of our football was patient, from the back, on the floor, the way we feel it should be played.

"On a pitch like this it's very important we play football on the floor.

"We felt looking at last season there was probably too much direct football over the top.

"But with the players we've got, there is not much height here so we are obviously going to play to our strengths and we feel that will be natural football on the floor."