Gary Henty reckons the Bostik North will be very tough this season, but if the Dockers can improve on the twelfth position they finished last term, then he will be happy.
“There will be three big clubs coming down from the Premier who will have big budgets. Hertford Town and Mildenhall Town who came up will be strong. There won’t be an easy game but if we can keep injury free and have some consistency, and then we can have a good go at it,” said the Dockers boss.
Tilbury were plagued by injury last season, losing Emiel Aiken and Tony Martin for several months during the campaign. The freak broken wrist injury that Aiken picked up after a 3-2 win over Brightlingsea Regent (who went on to win the Division), became a double blow only a few days later when Martin injured his back. Both were big misses and as the injury list grew so did the lack of form. It meant that the Dockers, who were flirting with the play-offs around Christmas time, were out of contention by the end of February. Henty admits that the injuries cost them. “At the time we were flying, but losing our two forwards cost us. We never recovered from it,” he went on to say.
The Dockers have kept the nucleus of last season’s squad but have brought in a host of younger players who Gary feels have got big futures. “If we can get them to gel quickly then I think we could put some results together.”
The Dockers will have to hit the ground running as the opening two fixtures see them hosting Grays Athletic and then visiting Canvey Island; a trip to Bury Town then awaits in the FA Cup. Not the easiest of starts but Henty told Yourthurrock: “If we perform the way I know we can then we can beat anyone. It depends on how we approach each game but I feel we are ready to go.”