Monday 04th July 2005

Lakin has high hopes for Swifts



Former Erith & Belvedere manager Barry Lakin has high hopes for Heybridge Swifts this season, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Chelmsford resident was appointed assistant manager at the Essex club earlier in the year, working alongside former Tottenham Hotspur star Brian Statham.

www.kentishfootball.co.uk caught up with Lakin and in an EXCLUSIVE interview he tells us of his aspirations for the Ryman Premier League club.

And with Bromley, Fisher Athletic, Folkestone Invicta and Margate in that division, what's the betting our paths will cross again during the next ten months?

Lakin, however, is pleased with the attitude of former Erith & Belvedere midfielder, Paul Abbott.

"Paul done very well for us during the time since leaving the Deres," he said.

"He impressed Brian and we have decided to get him on board for the new season.

"He has come back even fitter than last year and has also built up his upper body.

"This is a big year for him and he has listened to the advice we have given him and it looks to have paid off so far."

Lakin, however, admitted no more Deres will be making the journey to Scraley Road.

"Brian and I made a list of players we wanted and there were no Deres' players on the list," he revealed.

So is Lakin enjoying life at Heybridge Swifts and working with Statham?

"Very much so," he replied.  "We work very well together.  It's a friendly club, everyone pulls in the right direction for each other.

"Apart from the title its very much the same as being a number one with Brian.

"We take the same responsibility and are very much a team.

"I enjoy coaching and putting on the training sessions."

And looking ahead to the new season, Lakin added: "We are looking to sustain a top five place and have a good cup run - basically what all managers want at the beginning of the season!"

Lakin admits that "family life is great.  Ellie is four and a half months old and its a joy and no doubt like other parents its a life changing experience."

And the former Deres boss had this message for fans at his former club.

"I'd like to wish Mick Acland and the Deres supporters all the best for this season - and hope they have a successful season."