Friend has got plenty of minutes under his belt already, featuring heavily in the Gate’s pre-season travels and finding his feet at his new club:
“I’d rather play more minutes and get myself ready for the start of the season. I’m happy to be getting my fitness up.”
“I’ve wanted a change before and what the manager is trying to do here, bouncing back up, appealed to me. Without making too many bold statements about what we want do to, but I want to have a good season, a successful season and that is what attracted me to join Margate.”
Well versed with the non-league game, Friend’s approach to the season ahead and his role to play, is much like his style on the pitch, measured and composed.
Friend said: “I just like to turn up and do my job; head it, kick it! I’m a typical non-league centre half really. I think let everyone else do the talking about football and things like that. Ultimately, you can only get picked and play and do your best.”
“I think I was one of the first to sign as an addition to the squad already here and since then we’ve had a lot of new faces, the likes of Millsy, Flish and the like coming from Maidstone, and that was a real statement from the club. All we can do is keep our ambitions to ourselves, and keep them going throughout the season.”
With the fixtures out and pre-season games ticking past, Friend pointed out the importance of taking each game one at a time in order for the club to reach its ultimate goal.
“I always have a look at the fixture release but there’s no point looking too far ahead. You don’t know whether teams are going to have good or bad starts. Anything can happen throughout the season, so during pre-season we can just focus on that first game on the 12th and getting our first three points as quickly as we can.”
And with the league looking especially strong this season, both Friend’s experience as a player and captain, could come in especially useful.
“It’s going to be a strong league. Whether people have spent money or grabbed lots of attention, I don’t think that really means anything. You have just got to get on with it, do your job and see how it goes.”
“We’ve got the bonus of our new pitch which is really good for the club. To have a facility like that, with a pitch that can be used throughout the week is great, and I’m looking forward to playing on it on Tuesday 15th against Tonbridge.”