Sunday 27th February 2005


Wakeling's team taking shape

GEORGE WAKELING hopes his chopping and changing doesn't hinder Bromley's chances to secure a play-off place at the end of the season, writes Stephen McCartney.

Although the Ravens have collected just eleven points from their last ten Ryman League Division One games, Saturday's 4-3 win over basement boys Croydon at Hayes Lane has put them back in the chasing pack.

They are now only three points and three places behind the final play-off place and still have to play Metropolitan Police and a crunch game with tenants Cray Wanderers both at Hayes Lane in their run-in.

Top scorer Adolph Amoako netted a hat-trick against the Trams to notch 19 goals for the season, as Bromley twice clawed their way back to collect a crucial three points against their near neighbours, who themselves are now nine points from safety at the foot of the table.

Bromley joint-manager Wakeling, however, paid tribute to the club for their efforts in getting the game played.

"Obviously there was a lot of effort to put the game on in the morning and it was touch and go if it was playable.  The referee decided to start, it was difficult out there but it was playable."

Reflecting on their derby success, he added: "Funny game really in terms of possession.  We were better than them but in all honesty they hit us on the break, it worked for them, but our marking wasn't as good as it should have been.

"Scoring four goals is certainly a bonus but when you let in three it put some dampers on it, but we were looking for three points and we got them."

Wakeling gave debuts to goalkeeper Mark Torcaso, defenders Allan McLeod and Ross Edwards and there was a scoring return for midfielder Kevin George.

"I felt the new players that came in done well," admitted Wakeling.

Speaking about Ross Edwards, their recent capture from Maidstone United, Wakeling added "I think Ross possibly needs to sharpen up a little bit.  He's got a good left foot and he's strong but playing in the Kent League for a couple of season's hasn't helped him.  I think he'll say himself he could have done better."

He admitted he knew nothing about goalkeeper Torcaso - but Wakeling admitted Andy Walker - whose sitting out with a two match ban - will regain the number one jersey against Molesey in two weeks time.

Wakeling revealed: "We got the goalkeeper on Thursday night.  He just got let down in one or two areas.   We really had no knowledge of him, taking a gamble on recommendations.  He could probably put his hands up for one goal but he pulled off a couple of good saves but he's in a winning side.

"Andy Walker will come back. He's had a good season before I was there, he's done well since I've been at the club and he will come straight back (after suspension)."

Wakeling admitted he was pleased with midfielder Kevin George.  He added: "Wasn't his conditions.  He's a footballer and he put in two or three good crosses.  He held up the ball and scored a goal and he's done quite well in his first game back."

Wakeling hasn't been scared to ring the changes at Hayes Lane and has also cancelled the contract of striker Mark Watson by "mutual consent".  The former Lewes striker, whose also played for West Ham United and Sutton United amongst others, hit it off at the end of last season following his transfer deadline switch from the Dripping Pan club but his form has been a concern to the club this term, scoring only five goal this term.

"I think Mark probably lost his confidence during the season," Wakeling said.

"I don't think he had a pre-season, which didn't help him and he didn't really pick his game up.

"I was hoping he would come through.  He's strong up front, he brings others into play but it just didn't happen.  So the bottom line was, it was best, for both of us, for Mark to move on.  I think he's gone to Metropolitan Police with Glenn Boosey."

Wakeling will feel disappointed that Boosey, his recent signing from Sutton United, didn't live up to his expectations, and after only five games has been shown the door.

"He's another one that played against us in the past and played very well.  He has lots of ability but needs to work harder off the ball and he realises that.

"I did have a chat with him and told him when the penny drops, there is two sides to football.  When you don't have the ball you've got to work hard enough to get it back.

Wakeling's hardest decisions was to release the Kember brothers, Matt and Paul - both loyal club players and committed to the cause.

"That was a bit unfortunate really," said the Chislehurst based manager.

"Whilst Matt was injured I was signing players and he played in the first game I was in charge off but I let him down after that.

"Matt and Paul are both very good lads, they are honest and when the question was asked if they had a future at the club, in my heart of hearts, I gave them a straight answer and told them I was going to look elsewhere.

"They are both good lads, when you get a team of players, with their sort of attitude, they will be hard to beat.  I've got a lot of time for them."

Wakeling insisted all the club's remaining players have to work hard in their last ten league games and he gave talented winger Gary Drewett an ultimatum and asks Amoako to improve his game.

"I am pleased with Adolph Amoako's goal and his work rate but I do believe, and he knows this - for us to move on and be a better side he needs to hold the ball up.

"I think he'll appreciate that as well and it's something we need to work on.  Everyone has to improve on their weaknesses.  If we can improve on this it will make us a better team.

"It's up to Gary (Drewett) if he wants to stay here.  He's got the ability and we want good players to stay at the club.  That applies to all players.  Players who think they are good enough have to show us as we want to have a good side at the club next season."

Wakeling finished with a message to the club's fans, as the team prepare hard for their short trip to Croydon Athletic next weekend.  "We just need to stick together, work hard in training and hopefully put it together on the pitch.  We just need our disciplines to be right and I am convinced we can do well."

Please credit article to Stephen McCartney - www.kentishfootball.co.uk