Romford boss Martin excited to face pal Kimble on opening day

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 August 2018

Romford manager Paul Martin (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Romford manager Paul Martin (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Boro welcome Rovers to Rookery Hill to get the new campaign underway on Saturday

Romford boss Paul Martin is looking forward to coming up against an old friend when Great Wakering Rovers visit Rookery Hill on the opening day of the new Bostik North season.

Rovers are back in the eighth tier of English football this term after winning the Essex Senior League title last season.

However, there has been some change over the summer at Burroughs Park with Gary Kimble taking over from Iain O’Connell in the dugout.

Boro boss Martin has a good relationship with Kimble, with the pair having grown up together, and he is looking forward to seeing his old friend this weekend.

“Gary is someone I’ve known since I was about 11, so it will be good to come up against him on the opening day,” said Martin.

“He joined Great Wakering quite late, but he has the basis of a good squad there.

“I expect they will be quite solid at the back on Saturday, just like what Gary played in when he was at Wimbledon.”

The meeting on the opening day of season between Romford and Great Wakering could be an early relegation six-pointer — if a predicted table published by the Bostik League is anything to go by.

The league asked fans of all 20 clubs to predict the table for the new season, which saw Rovers finish bottom, while Boro were only one place above them.

Martin, though, seems to have taken the prediction in his stride and has urged his Romford squad to use it as motivation to upset the odds this term.

“You look at last season’s predicted table and it had Heybridge Swifts finishing 18th, yet they went on to finish in the play-offs; it just goes to show why they’re fans and not in the dugouts managing!” he added.

“I’ll put it up in the changing room to make sure the boys are aware of it and how we don’t want to have another battle on the final day to stay up.”

Romford added to their options in attack ahead of facing Rovers by signing Roddy Lemba, who enjoyed a prolific campaign in the Essex Senior League last season with Barkingside.

Martin will hope Lemba can get among the goals again in his time with Boro.

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