Monday 06th June 2005

Deres take cautious approach for Kent League campaign

NEWLY APPOINTED Erith & Belvedere assistant manager Wayne Bladacchino hasn't made any predictions ahead of their Kent League campaign following the club's relegation from the Southern League, writes Stephen McCartney.

Baldacchino, who has been promoted from the club's successful reserve side where he was manager, is looking forward to working with former Deres' boss Mick Acland at first team level.

Baldacchino told the club's revamped website: "Mick and I have attended a number of management meetings as well as made a number of phone calls to current players as well as new, quality players we hope to see on Saturday 2nd July when the first and reserve team squad report back to training.

"We are both confident that the players we hope to keep will remain at the club along with the reserves who make the step up and in addition a few new lads who we hope to sign to make up the new first team squad.

"I am excited by the challenge ahead and hope that the supporters will be pleasantly surprised by the quality squad we hope to assemble ready for our assault on the Kent Premier League.

"It is pointless setting targets as we have been down the road before and if you fail to meet targets set it leaves a very negative vibe around the place.

"We shall take pre-season on board, re-asses what is required both on and off the field and then act accordingly."

Speculation, however, has been rife recently over the future of last season's top scorer, Chris Dickson, with fans' linking him with Ryman League division one side Cray Wanderers.

But Cray's manager Ian Jenkins' played down the speculation, and said yesterday: "I haven't had contact with him.  I know off him - I am not too sure about that one."

Baldacchino added: "To our knowledge no players, who we want to keep, have gone elsewhere and we very much hope and expect to have the players we want to work with still on board for the coming season."