By Scott Lanza
Aveley will be looking to be involved in the Bostik North play-off mix having just missed out last season. Terry Spillane aims to take a step further this term but told yourthurrock: “the board are being sensible in their expectations. We haven’t got the biggest budget and they haven’t set me any targets. They have told me if we finish above mid-table they will be happy. But we as a team are aiming higher than that.”
Moving into Parkside could be the stirrup Aveley need to get them up a tier. However the new ground could lead to unrealistic expectations. But Spillane feels that the fans want the club to move forward, especially as the Millers found a good bit of form towards the back end of last season. “I think the supporters will be looking for us to finish in a play-off position, but other clubs will of course be thinking the same way and I think this season it could be an even tougher division,” explained the Millers boss, who replaced Justin Gardner during the 2016/17 season and very nearly steered them into the play-offs.
Spillane went on to say that Aveley could be having a settling in period as the facilities are new to the club. There is also an Academy about to start in September, there is a growing youth section; the future for the Millers looks bright but it might be next season when the club are fully ready to mount a Bostik Premier promotion.
However the Millers have added a few additions to their squad, which could see them mount a challenge this year if they can pick up some momentum. In comes Jack Barry from Phoenix Sports. He played for Spillane when they were both at Thamesmead Town and it’s no surprise to see that his signing has also seen him handed the Aveley Captaincy.
Adam Bolle and Jake Gordon could provide a few goals as could Jordan Peart and Jeremiah Maja, who both re-signed for the forthcoming campaign. With Billy Coyne, Harry Gibbs, Tommy Spillane and Adalberto Pinto also remaining in the Millers’ fold means that Spillane hasn’t had to do too massive a re-build during his first close season with the club. Losing goalkeeper
Lamar Johnson to tenants Grays Athletic may have been a bit of a blow, but Spillane wasted no time in signing Rhys Madden, who has turned out for local rivals Thurrock. “I am quietly confident on how well we can do this season because I think we have a stronger squad this year. I have gone for young and upcoming players and I am happy with the squad,” stated the Millers boss.
Aveley’s pre-season saw bad results but good performances which the Parkside boss thinks is important. “We lost to both Dulwich Hamlet and Harlow Town, but we played well and we have to bear in mind that Dulwich are my tip for the Bostik Premier and we won’t be playing them every week. ”
Aveley will however be playing Bowers & Pitsea on Saturday. It will be Aveley’s first competitive fixture at Parkside and it could be the start of an interesting ride.