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Steve Tilson makes his debut as Canvey Island's manager
STEVE Tilson will take charge of Canvey Island for the first time tonight when the Gulls visit his former Witham Town side in a pre-season friendly.
Witham played a pivotal part in launching Tilson’s own successful playing career.
And the 45-year-old cannot wait to head back there this evening.
“It’s a game I’m looking forward to for a number of reasons to be honest,” said Tilson.
“It will be great to be back involved in football again and be managing Canvey for the first time.
“On top of that I have great memories from my time playing for Witham and always welcome the opportunity to go back.”
Tilson spent two years playing for Town under the guidance of Danny Greaves before being snapped up by Southend United in 1989.
Nowadays however, Tilson is fully focused on management and putting together a strong Canvey side.
That aim begins tonight as Tilson takes a close look at a number of his players.
“This will be the first time I’ve seen the lads in a game so it’s a chance for them to impress me and prove they want to be a part of what we’re working towards,” said Tilson.
“Results don’t really matter at this stage and I just want to have a look at a few things before deciding what areas of the team we need to strengthen for the season ahead.”
With that in mind, Tilson hopes to field a few trialists for this evening’s encounter.
But he remains concerned by the number of warm-up games Canvey will play in their build up to the new Ryman Premier League season.
“We have nine friendlies and with a small squad it’s not ideal,” said Tilson.
“I think we’re playing Tuesday and Saturday right up until the start of the season and that means we can only really train with the team on a Thursday night, which isn’t what I would have wanted.
“However, we will just have to get on with it and make sure we’re in the best shape possible for our first league game.”
Tonight’s game at Spa Road kicks-off at 7.45pm.