'Canvey ready to fly high' - Batch
By Dick Marshall
CANVEY Island start their Ryman One North season with a visit to newcomers Northwood with boss John Batch pledging to try and take the club a step forward from last term.
After missing out on the play-offs on the final Saturday of last season, the Gulls will be pushing for promotion this time around.
Said Batch: "You've got to look to improve each season in football and we'd certainly say that we'd love to at least make the play-offs this time round.
"But nothing's certain in football. You can never legislate for injuries and things like that.
"We're certainly a stronger squad than last year with the signing of players such as midfielder Gabriel Fanibuyan, a tremendous talent, and Danny Francis, while Danny Curran will be available after missing most of last term through injury."
Only departures have been Lee Jay and Matt Reade, both of whom left for Wingate and Finchley.
Add Batch: "There are a lot of capable sides in this division and, although Dartford and AFC Sudbury are favourites, there are plenty of other clubs capable of having a go for it."
Good news on experienced defender Kevin Dobinson is that he could be back in as little as three to four weeks from his ankle problem.
Dave Kreyling, Danny Curran and Francis face late fitness tests for tomorrow's opener at Northwood.
That's followed by a home game with Fanibuyan's previous club, Potters Bar, on Tuesday and Batch insists: "We've got good competition for places in most areas now and we're all looking forward to the proper action starting."