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Read aiming for 30 goals

By Matt Davison

New striker Alex Read is also delighted to return to a grass pitch

The new man leading our strike force this season, Alex Read, has ambitious goal tally targets this season, but knows there'll be no point reaching them if the club doesn't achieve promotion.

The 30 year old, was quite simply a goal machine at former club Harlow in each of his five years, including one season where he scored an incredible 52 league and cup goals.

"I said to Steve I want to score 30," said Alex. "But the ambitions don't stop. Once I hit 30 I want to get 40, I keep going. But for me, my personal targets need to reflect what we do as a team. If I score 30 but we dont make the play offs, what's the point? I'd prefer to score 20 and go up.

So after five years, why did Alex choose us, and decide to cross the bridge and come here?

"It was Steve, and it's also being on grass again! That's the one thing I'm happiest about, getting back to playing on grass. Steve had a long conversation with me, he was persistent. I had other clubs contacting me but he was the one I warmed to.

"I know Alex (Akrofi, our top scorer last season). He was in Brentwood's youth team when I was in their first team. I was screaming at Brentwood's manager to get Alex playing in the first team when he was in their under 18s. I saw how good he was then.

"I speak to him now and again and when Steve rang me, I had a chat with Alex to see if the club was run properly. He gave me the lowdown on the club, told me it was run properly I spoke to Steve and it was all done.

"I don't want to play somewhere where you don't try to push on. As much as I love Harlow it was hard to get yourself up for games. We were struggling, we pulled through but it was hard to be in love with football every Saturday. I was there five years, maybe I became a bit stale there. I played a lot of games out of position last season, left wing or midfield, It isnt a problem but it wasn't my natural thing."

But as Alex mentioned, playing his home games on grass again was also a factor, as anyone who went to our games on the 3G at Harlow the last two years may well understand.

Alex explained: "When Harlow first laid the pitch it was quality, but over the years it's worn. It's not like grass, you can regrow grass, but (on a 3G pitch) once it's flat, that's how it is. It wasn't like the ones at Hendon or Sudbury or Worthing. It just seemed to flatten out, and in the end it didn't suit anyone, it just caused injuries."

And I also reminded Alex we never beat Harlow when we played against him,

"Yes I said that to the physio. You should have beaten us at our ground last season, you battered us but we nicked a 2-1 win with 3 shots. It was a proper snatch and grab, but the season before that, we bossed you in both games. And that end of the season game was pointless. It was like a freiendly, nobody was playing for anything.

And with Alex comes another of our summer signings Jared Small. Handily, Jared is the man responsible for setting up a number of Alex's many goals with Harlow, and he's delighted Jared's followed him from Harlow to Longmead.

"Yes I don't want to say too much more. Jared knows I've got a very high opinion of him! Jared is the one from last year I would have picked to come with me. He works hard for everyone, he's frightening to play against, and he's lightning quick."

Updated 08:11 - 23 Mar 2019 by Jim Rowe

Where next?

Golf Day - Monday 8th October to support 12th Man Fund Play a round of golf alongside the players and staff


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