Big clash at Needham Market as Billericay and their ex-Premier League stars come to Bloomfields
Big-spending Billericay come to Bloomfields tonight looking to push on in their quest for Bostik Premier title glory.
Glenn Tamplin’s side have been the talk, not just of the Bostik League, but of non-league football in general, as the millionaire business owner builds on and off the pitch a club he hopes will make its way up the Football pyramid and into the Football League.
Three of Billericay’s current players include former Premier League stars Jamie O’Hara, Paul Konchesky and Jermaine Pennant. It makes the Essex side attractive opposition wherever they go.
Needham Market boss Richard Wilkins, who made more than 400 Football League appearances, takes his hat off to Tamplin.
“From what I can see the owner is putting in money not just on the pitch, but very much off it as well and building a club there,” Wilkins said.
“Fair play to him. I have no issue with that.
“It’s good for the fans to be able to watch ex-Premier League players playing, it gives any game against them a buzz.
“I have been impressed with them. People become jealous when others have money but Billericay have promoted themselves well. The owner has an objective, he looks like he wants longevity at the club.
“For us, quite honestly, it’s a bit of a free hit.
“No-one is expecting us to win, but we are in good heart.”
Indeed Wilkins and his side are in good shape, following a fine 3-1 FA Trophy first qualifying round win over Arlesey on Saturday.
The draw for the second round saw the Marketmen drawn away at either Brentwood or Bedford Town.
“I thought we played well on Saturday,” Wilkins added.
“Arlesey made it quite difficult for us and we needed a second goal.
“There were a lot of good signs and our football, especially in the second half, was very good.”
Wilkins was especially pleased for a couple of his players, Jamie Griffiths and Adam Mills.
“It’s nice to have Jamie back playing, but we have to manage him, he can’t play every game. But he’s a big bonus.
“And it was great to see Adam Mills on the scorechart. That will hopefully give him a boost.”