There won't be a side in the Kent League that will touch us, insists McMahon - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
Although the Stones clinched the Kent League and cup double last term, they were beaten courtesy of Curtis Williams’ hat-trick and goals from Rikki Cable and a stunning 30-yard dipping shot from Sam Thomas.
New boss Keith McMahon has so far made six summer signings and the new man at the helm – he was Paul Blade’s assistant previously – demands that his side improve on last season’s third place finish.
Speaking in an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with www.kentishfootball.co.uk, he said that he was pleased that his players have settled, following their 3-0 defeat at the hands of Dartford at the weekend.
“To be honest with you, I’m not really worried about the results, just the pre-season performances,” he said.
“I thought, similar to the second half against Dartford, we got the ball down and played really well.
“We knew Maidstone would be a very strong side, but it was nothing to do with the result, it was more how we coped with the system with the six new lads that we’ve signed.
“I thought our midfield was just tremendous. I thought Robbie Tarrant was the best player on the park by miles.
“We’ve adapted our style to get the ball and play. With him, Sam Thomas and Scot Mulholland, with James Brown just sitting there winning everything, I thought we dominated the game from start to finish to be honest and we looked very strong going forward.”
McMahon, whose side entertain, that being the right word to use, Aveley on Thursday night and Eton Manor two days later, can expect a footballing lesson.
But can they maintain that form going into their Kent League campaign, which gets underway on 12th August?
“I know we’ll be up there anyway at the beginning of the season, it’s one of those things,” admitted McMahon.
“We’re a club that always finishes in the top three but we don’t get too much recognition for that but we won’t get too carried away.
”We know we’ve got a good side here and we know we can play football, but it’s just being consistent. We need a good start and if we do what we did tonight there won’t be a side in the league that will touch us but we’re looking for consistency.”
Kent League officials have once again been criticised by member clubs with the delay in releasing their fixtures.
McMahon, meanwhile, has put his hands in his own pockets in a bid to attract more supporters through the newly erected turnstiles at Bayliss Avenue this season.
But he kept tight lipped regarding the identity of their new mascot – Tommy the Thamesmead Toad.
The Mead have followed in the footsteps of Nationwide Conference club Gravesend & Northfleet in having a friendly face to entertain the crowd – before the players do.
“We’ve put 5,000 leaflets out for the games over the weekend and we attracted bigger crowds,” revealed McMahon. “We got 150-200 people over the weekend for the two games against Dartford and Arsenal.”
Speaking about his all-green new signing, McMahon added: “It was an idea of mine. I thought what other club has a mascot?
“I had a look around on the websites and I couldn’t find anything, maybe Gravesend have got one but I couldn’t really find too many but I know there definitely isn’t one in the Kent League.
“We’ve financed it ourselves and we’ve got the right person to do it and it’s drummed up great publicity. If it brings in another 10-15 people through the door and word gets around it will be great.
“We’ve tried to make the club more friendly, trying to get more of the local community involved and we’ve got the Thamesmead Trust backing the club.”
McMahon explained why he’s playing at least nine pre-season friendlies as he prepares for the new campaign, and having changed the shape of the team he wants his team to play attractive football to get the crowds flocking to watch them.
He said: “We just wanted games instead of training and the best way of seeing these new players is actually in games.”
McMahon revealed 40 players have attended pre-season training but admitted he doesn’t know too much about his next two opponents.
“The next two games, again, nothing to do with the results, but results are great for confidence,” he said.
“I’ve promised everybody that they’ll get a fair crack, including the reserves from last year.
”Steve O’Boyle had a great side from last year and I had a good youth team as well.”
“I don’t know much about Aveley or Eton Manor as they’re teams in different leagues.
“It’s all about fitness. We’ve had a tremendous pre-season, having started a week early and they’re really putting it in.”
New faces on show against Maidstone United last night:
Scott Lewis and Lee Morgan both played for Slade Green last season
James Brown* (VCD Athletic)
Robbie Tarrant* (Metropolitan Police – Ryman League Division One South)
Scott Mulholland* (ex-Queen’s Park Rangers and Slade Green)
Rikki* and Ross* Cable (Faversham Town, although Ross didn’t play last night)
Tyrone Sterling (Fisher Athletic’s youth team)
Scott Barnes (Cammell Laird – the side that knocked VCD Athletic out of the FA Vase last season)
Two sixteen-year-old’s came off the bench - goalkeeper Andy Woodward and Lee Dawson
Ryan Royston*, who was coaching in the technical area before coming on as a late substitute, helped Maidstone United to the Kent League and cup double last season
Dean Kearley (thigh), Peter Deadman (hamstring) and Pedro Knight, however, didn’t play.
Visit Thamesmead Town’s website: www.thamesmeadtownfc.co.uk
Thamesmead Town v Aveley
Thursday 20th July 2006
Kick Off 7:45pm
Thamesmead Town v Eton Manor
Saturday 22nd July 2006
Kick Off 3:00pm
Both games at Bayliss Avenue, Thamesmead SE28 8NJ