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Frustrated Gardner Forced to Sit it Out

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Justin Gardner, manager of Ryman League Division One North club Aveley, has added goalkeeper Andre Foster to his….

….squad and he’ll make his first start on Saturday against Cheshunt – weather permitting.

Foster, signed from Ryman Premier Division side Canvey Island, was set to make his debut on Boxing Day. But Gardner and the Millers squad were again frustrated that the weather got the better of them again in their clash with local rivals Grays Athletic and now will not have played in a fortnight, assuming Saturday gets the go ahead.

“We had three training sessions last week and you are used to the match at the end of the week to test out what you have been working on,” said Gardner. “It’s very frustrating because you train to play games and we have been doing a lot of training without testing it on the pitch.”

Foster was added to the Millers squad after former number one Jack Giddens moved to St Neots Town and Gardner hopes his new keeper can start as he means to go on.

“He’s a very good goalkeeper who has been at Canvey for the last few seasons,” added Gardner.

“He will benefit from playing regularly and hopefully we can see the best out of him. Andre came highly recommended and has been doing well in training so hopefully he can get off to a good start against Cheshunt.”

The Millers currently sit in fourth spot after Boxing Day’s games and though the Aveley chief has been disappointed on occasions, he will be pleased if his side end the season in the play-offs.

“I have not been happy with certain performances and I know we could have played and picked up a few more points,” he said.

“I am not stupid enough to think we aren’t going to lose a game between now and the end of the season. But we have got to make ourselves harder to beat. If we match our run what we have over the season so far then hopefully we can achieve the play-offs, which is what we set out to do at the start of the season. But let’s hope we can get on the pitch now and start playing football again!”

Gardner added: “Fingers crossed we can finish 2012 on a high, carry that run on in 2013 and enjoy the rest of the season.”

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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