Baffins’ next friendly is one that all ‘football purists’ should want to see – Rovers boss Shaun Wilkinson

Manager Shaun Wilkinson believes Baffins Milton Rovers' upcoming high profile pre-season friendlies show the club is moving in the right direction.

By Lewis Mason
Monday, 19th July 2021, 12:08 pm
Jamie White heads home for Baffins at Fleetlands. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Jamie White heads home for Baffins at Fleetlands. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Wilkinson encouraged any 'football purists' from the city and beyond to come down and watch his side take on former Brighton team-mate Adam Hinshelwood's Worthing at the PMC Stadium tomorrow night.

Rovers also have home pre-season fixtures with National League South Dorking Wanderers and step 4 sides Chichester City and Winchester City in the coming weeks.

Wilkinson particularly pinpointed the visit of Worthing, who have sat top of the Isthmian Premier Division in each of the past two pandemic shortened seasons, and Marc White's Dorking (July 27) as big coups for the club.

And the Rovers boss reckons having good relations with teams higher up the pyramid will only benefit the club in the long run.

Wilkinson said: 'Over the past two seasons I think they (Worthing) were top both seasons.

‘They’re one of the sides who have really, really felt the force of null and void.

‘You go and watch them play, they’re good, they pass the ball really well.

Fleetlands keeper Jayden Rideout comes under pressure watched by Sam Martin, left, and Stuart Maunder. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

‘Football purists of the city, you want to see a proper team move the ball around, come and watch them.

‘The thing is it’s good to have good relationships with better clubs. They’ll bring a side down pre-season. They (Worthing) have got Dean Cox now who used to be at Brighton.’

Cox made over 100 pro appearances for Brighton, before going on to make over 200 in over six years at Leyton Orient. He recently signed for Worthing after three seasons with National League South Eastbourne Borough.

‘Baffins have never had clubs like this come to their place,’ said Wilkinson. ‘Previous regimes could only attract lesser opposition so it’s good for the club.

Stuart Maunder (Fleetlands, left) and Callum Dart (Baffins). Picture: Chris Moorhouse

‘We’re trying to grow the club on and off the pitch so being able to invite teams like Worthing and Dorking is a feather in our cap.'

Baffins continued their unbeaten pre-season so far with a 4-1 triumph at Hampshire Premier League side Fleetlands on Saturday.

Miles Everett, Jamie White, James Cowan and 16-year-old Liam Brewer were all on the scoresheet.

Wilkinson handed minutes to some of his squad who have not had as much playing time in other friendlies - and he praised Brewer for making his mark from the bench.

Fleetlands' Perry Easton, left. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

The Baffins boss said: '‘We’ve got real good strength, we’ve got a real good under-18s, this is why we brought them to the club - they used to be Fleur De Lys - the future is looking bright with them at the minute.

‘There’s three or four in there (under-18s) that are good. Obviously we’ve got to pick our moments, so we took them Saturday and I wanted to see how the game developed.

‘We gave a debut to Liam, he came on and scored.'

Fleetlands v Baffins Milton Rovers, pre-season friendly. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 170721-23)