Justin reflects on last season

Monday April 30th 2018


Although the 2017/18 season only concluded on Saturday, first team manager Justin Gardner has provided his thoughts and reflections on how it went:

First season back in the Isthmian league.

First of all I would like to thank everyone who played a huge part in not only achieving the first objective for the club by securing Bostik league status, but to push for the play offs up until the last few weeks of the season on limited resources, the lowest I have worked with at this level.

Also having the best record against the top six, it is probably up there as one of my biggest achievements. So we had to work harder on improving players, finding gems, training hard, the usual stuff hardworking clubs do.

Special mention to Steve Willis as if it wasn't for him I would not have been at the club, I want to thank him personally for his backing and support. Top man

A person who is very close to me and does way more than a captain is supposed to do, he goes out of his way to improve things and be an ear for the younger players, can’t thank you enough great player but even better friend and man. Abs Seymour

Also want to mention Billy Jones who is someone I have been close to before he actually played for me and he did so this season. When he collapsed on the football pitch in a game away to Ware early in the season I thought we had lost him, and when he came around was such a joy and something that will never leave me, health is more important and there was a chance he would not play football again. But with Billy I knew that was not going to happen and three months later he returned and when he scored and came to celebrate with myself and the bench brought a tear to my eye, he also finished joint top goal scorer.

Then there is young Ricky Tarbard who took to the level like a duck to water all I will say is: Gary Neville as he is so consistent

Toib Adeyemi who played way more games than we expected and will be so much better in the future with over 40 games for us this season well done.

Then there is Ben O’Brien (Beno) a player who is known for his physical side of the game and has made big improvements on his passing side of the game, to see the work we put into improving him shows it’s not only youngsters who can improve, he had a very good season.

Alan Taylor (Smallsy) again another player plucked out from a low level: Essex Alliance, what a good footballer, but something we liked more was his determination and not letting his size stop him. One of the hardest and bravest players who has done very well in his first season at this level. Will be looking for him to kick on next season.

Albert Levett came to us on the recommendation of a friend, and I must say his commitment and willingness to improve was why I have a soft spot for him, never misses training and a joy to work with.

J.J. Da Cruz who joined us from Cheshunt and what an impact he had and played a huge part in the fantastic run in October with many clean sheets, then just before Christmas broke his hand and it took him longer then we had hoped to recover. We missed him at a crucial time of the season. Good news is he finished the season injury free.

Billy Reynolds what can I say about this man, he was injured when I took over in the summer but he never missed a game or training worked hard on his rehab and to see the joy on his face when he made his Bostik league debut was a joy for everyone to see. 

Jordan Peart: I have coached this lad from the age of 16 gave him his semi-professional debut, and with hard work has a big future in the game.

Would also like to thank, Kemo Darboe, Eman Olajide, Chris Clark, Quinton Monville, Timi Abiola, Jack McQueen, Adem Ramadan, Teddy Nesbitt, Eli Benoit, Arian Retkoceri, Theo Ola, Jay Knight, Izzy Bademosi and David Fallah and all of the other players who played a part. Don’t want to leave out Akwasi Marfo and Dan Gilchrest who played huge parts and only departed recently thank you so much.

Would like to thank Rob O'Brien and Keith Whittington who I work very close to and both have been very supportive, I could not of asked for anymore.

Thanks also to Mick, Terry, Ashley, Dave, John, George, Trevor, Archie, Maureen, Andy & Marian, Debbie and Derek for all your support.

Also big thanks to my sponsor Steve Havers.

But a special mention to my management team Andre your commitment and willing to improve players is to be admired, Kiers a player I have tracked for years and after a talk in the summer about him wanting to get into coaching was a perfect fit for us. Jeff the small things you do may seem small but are huge for myself and the players: a true blue, Rhea and Vinny.

Without your hard work and loyalty we would not be where we are, a big reason is have enjoyed this season is working with you all and with a special group of players thanks and always continue to push each other so we can achieve our goals. #LoveTheGameItWillLoveUBack 

PS If I have missed anyone out I apologise and will owe you a drink. 


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Barking Football Club established 1880. Who play at Mayesbrook Park and formerly at the Vicarage Field.

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