Here we go, here we go

Rivals kick off new Ryman League campaigns

A new Ryman League season gets underway as Romford travel to Division One North rivals Harlow today (Saturday).

And manager Paul Martin believes his side could have had it a little easier.

“I think I’ve got the two hardest games to start of everyone,” said Martin.

“Harlow are probably favourites to win the title and Redbridge (who Boro entertain on Tuesday) will be hungry.

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“They’ve got the old Stansted manager (Terry Spillane) and a lot of their players, who won a league title.

“There are no easy games and there never will be, but I think we’ve got a very tough first month, with Soham Town, who we don’t know much about, and Thamesmead on Bank Holiday Monday.

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“It will be the toughest season since we’ve been in the Ryman, but if I can keep everyone fit and happy I think we can have success and achieve more. We’ve got to knuckle down and do what we do best.

“We’ve got a lot of new, young faces and I hope the fans are patient. We’re building for the future and by the time they’re peaking, hopefully we will have sorted ourselves out financially and will be in our new stadium, and they’ll be in their prime.

“I want to be the manager to take Romford into that new ground and a new future.”

Hornchurch must wait an extra 24 hours to begin their Premier Division campaign at Cray tomorrow (Sunday).

They beat the south London club 1-0 at Bridge Avenue on opening-day last season and manager Jimmy McFarlane believes both clubs could contend this term.

He said: “We underachieved last year and I think Cray did as well.

“They’ve got a good squad and a good manager. I watched them at the weekend and they’re a very good side. They’re not the biggest side and I picked up a few things, but it will be a tough test.

“We’re looking at clean sheets first of all. It’s always tough on the first day, but we won against Cray last year, funnily enough, then went on a poor run. Then we had a fantastic run, before another dip.”

Urchins will get little respite before they host Canvey on Tuesday and, after a home game against Horsham, travel to Lowestoft on Bank Holiday Monday.

McFarlane added: “We’ve got Cray, Canvey and Lowestoft all in the first week, all teams you expect to do well.

“We’ve only got one days rest before Canvey, but it is what it is. You have to play them all and no-one wins the league in the first month, but it would be brilliant to get off to a good start.”

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