Wherever I’ve gone I’ve had relatively good success and I expect to have the same this season, says Thamesmead Town boss Keith Spillane
THAMESMEAD TOWN boss Terry Spillane says he has got his mojo back and is keen to guide the club towards success during his first full season in charge.
The Mead sealed The Peabody Trophy yesterday with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Jersey at Bayliss Avenue, when a crowd of 200 took advantage of the club’s family fun day.
It attracted the club’s largest crowd since 305 fans watched the Mead’s shock 4-1 home win over Maidstone United in the Ryman Premier League in January 2014.
Striker Tyrus Gordon-Young took his prolific goalscoring pre-season form to ten goals with a brace, while Theo Fairweather-Johnson also got on the scoresheet.
Thamesmead Town complete their pre-season campaign when Essex Senior League side Clapton visit Bayliss Avenue on Tuesday night (7:45pm), before the real stuff begins on Saturday.
The Mead kick-off their Ryman League Division One North campaign with a trip to Heybridge Swifts, before entertaining Thurrock on Monday night (7:45pm) and then newly-promoted Haringey Borough on Saturday, 15 August.
“You look at the league fixtures, table, the team’s that are in it, there ain’t no easy games and Heybridge are going to be no different,” said Spillane.
“I know the manager there, Cliff Akurang, he’s a big name in non-league football. He’ll have them playing the right way, the pitch will be perfect, which will suit us and hopefully we get a good start.
“We’ve got a tough opening. We’ve got Thurrock on Monday over here, who are going to be one of the favourites and we’ve got newcomers, an unknown quantity, Haringey Borough, so we’ve got a big week in front of us.”
The club have also introduced a season ticket for a family of four for just £30, which is just over 30p a head to watch each of their 23 Ryman League games this season.
Thamesmead Town have also switched their home midweek slot to Monday nights, as they bid to increase crowds to Bayliss Avenue.
“That’s the aim of the club, that’s something that the chairman (Paul Bowden-Brown) wanted to impose over the club and I’ve got no problem with that,” said Spillane.
“It can work both ways, obviously we’ll be playing Saturday and then two days later, we won’t get as much rest maybe but it’s the same for both teams that come here. Its swings and roundabouts so hopefully it pays off and we get a few more people through the door.”
Spillane officially took charge of the club on 10 February, following the shock departure of now VCD Athletic manager, Keith McMahon, who was at the club for 11 years.
Spillane said: “It was tough. He had been here for quite a long while but for a strange sick way, which I am, It was a good time to come in because there was no pressure on me.
“It gave me time to have a look at the players here, which I was really thankful for the players. Not only have I stuck by them, they’ve stuck by me as well. They’ve given me a chance and I thank them for that because they really did help me settle in as did all the committee members, the chairman, who have been fantastic for me from day one so I haven’t had any problems coming in to Thamesmead.”
The Mead finished their last campaign in thirteenth-place in the table and the club are expected to challenge for promotion this season.
Spillane said: “I said to the players when I first came here they’ve massively under-achieved.
“I’ve kept 15 out of the 16 that were here last year. They know my thoughts that we’ve got our own targets that we will keep in house.
“Obviously wherever I’ve gone I’ve had relatively good success and I expect to have the same this season.”
With just one more warm-up game left to play, Spillane, who parted company with league rivals Maldon & Tiptree on 13 September 2014, is feeling excited and is relishing the battle in a tough division.
He said: “And rightly so and that’s why we’re in football for!
“The boys were saying to me before the game ‘this must be your 50th season in football Tel?’ – they’re not far wrong, playing and managing!
“I’ve still got the buzz. I’ve got to say this time last year I probably weren’t as, what can I say? No disrespect to Maldon, I didn’t have the same feeling as what I’ve got now for whatever reason, but I’ve got my mojo back for football and Thamesmead helped me have that.
“I’ve had relatively good success but this year is going to be the toughest I’ve ever known it! Some of the clubs that are in it and also the new clubs that have come in it, our neighbours down the road, Phoenix Sports, what a season they had last year! Who’s to say they can’t carry on. They’re an unknown quantity.
“Barkingside, Redbridge and Romford have had a big player changeround. You have got all the usual suspects, Thurrock, Maldon, Heybridge Swifts, who will be there and there abouts and you’ve got the big teams coming like Hornchurch. Cray Wanderers, big spenders, chucking money about like confetti.
“What an exciting time to be in Ryman North. I think the Ryman North this year will be more exciting than the Ryman Premier! I don’t think that’s been said for a few years!”
Visit Thamesmead Town’s website: www.thamesmeadtownfc.com
Heybridge Swifts v Thamesmead Town
Ryman League Division One North
Saturday 8th August 2015
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Scraley Road, Heybridge, Maldon, Essex CM9 8JA