Search

Greens boss Stephenson cannot wait for the new season

PUBLISHED: 14:37 02 August 2012

Anton Stephenson

Anton Stephenson

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to Licencing restrictions

Bethnal Green United chief looking forward to a new era at the club

New Bethnal Green United boss Anton Stephenson is excited about the Greens’ new season, which starts next Tuesday, when the team make the journey to Barking FC for their opening Essex Senior League fixture.

The club was left in a state of uncertainty at the end of last season, with caretaker boss Kirk Whitelock leaving the club, but Stephenson was swiftly appointed as player-manager and the striker can’t wait for the season to begin.

“It has been a summer of change at Bethnal Green United, there is no denying that,” said Stephenson.

“We have had 16 new players join the club, including some that left and have then returned again, so we are all still getting to know each other.

“But the team is gelling nicely and they are where I expect them to be at this stage of pre-season.”

However, it isn’t just playing personnel that has changed at the club, with Stephenson quick to bring in an assistant boss to work alongside.

“I have managed to bring in Anthony Gradley, who is an excellent coach, and he has experience of working in the professional game, having just finished coaching Leyton Orient’s under-16s,” said Stephenson.

“As a whole club we are going in the right direction and I can’t wait for the season to start.”

In their last campaign, Bethnal Green started strongly before moving towards the summit of the Essex Senior League in the new year, combined with an excellent run in the FA Vase, reaching the last 16 before being knocked out by eventual winners Dunstan UTS.

However, when manager Justin Gardner moved to Aveley, the Greens endured a change of fortunes on the pitch, as Whitelock failed to win his first seven games.

In the end, Bethnal Green limped to ninth place, some 31 points behind champions Witham Town.

But this season, Stephenson is setting his sights a lot higher.

“We are aiming to win the league this year,” he said. “I know many teams will say that every season, but we are serious and we will be disappointed if we are not up there come the end of the season.

“We are expecting big things this season and this squad has the most ability I have ever seen in my time at the club.

“The team spirit is building, but the lads have only been training together for the past eight weeks. I am sure that will come.”

United will be captained this season by new recruit Bradley Nelson, a striker who Stephenson knows well from his time at other clubs.

“Bradley is a good player and a good leader and he is the right choice to captain us this season,” said Stephenson.

“I know him from his time at Eton Manor and Tilbury and he possesses the type of leadership qualities that we need.”

Stephenson’s men open their league campaign with a trip to Barking on Tuesday evening, and the Greens boss is expecting a tough test in Essex.

“Barking have always been a big, physical side and it will be interesting to see how the lads cope with that,” he added.

“We are a real footballing team and like to see the game played properly and have a style of play that we will stick to.

“Hopefully that stands us in good stead for the season ahead.”

Latest East London Sports News

Yesterday, 18:05

Former England captain Alastair Cook says he would rather the County Championship was not played at all this season rather than attempting to hold a dramatically condensed campaign.

Yesterday, 10:24

West Ham have eight players in self-isolation showing mild symptoms of coronavirus.

Fri, 19:01

The Premier League, PFA and the EFL say some “difficult decisions” will need to be taken in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fri, 17:30

The English cricket season was due to get under way in Sri Lanka this week with county champions Essex taking on the MCC in the traditional curtain-raising fixture.

Fri, 17:00

With sport shutting down across the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic, why not test your sporting knowledge with a quiz?

Fri, 14:04

Matt Withers is joined by Dave Evans and Dan Bennett to discuss the latest on West Ham United, Leyton Orient, Dagenham & Redbridge and non-league football.

Fri, 12:00

Attacking midfielder Jordan Maguire-Drew has admitted the Leyton Orient changing room is the ‘best’ he’s ever been a part of.

Thu, 15:34

The FA and the leagues from step 3 to 6 of the non league football system have reached a consensus that the 2019/20 season will be ended with immediate effect and all results will be expunged.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Festival organisers AEG Presents will once again be providing a variety of exciting opportunities for young people at this year’s event

Looking to rent in London? Securing the keys to a new home in any big city can be an ordeal but there is a way to avoid the common pitfalls of London rentals - dodgy landlords, dubious décor and downright dicey security.

Cauldron Foods’ comedy night will give vegans the last laugh as Vegan comics dispel vegan myths.

Most read sport

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser