The small Essex town of Billericay is probably more well known for its involvement in comedy programme Gavin & Stacey than it is for footballing ability, however now that looks like it’s about to change. Ricay as most call them are now owned by millionaire Glenn Tamplin and he has already showed he has lofty ambitions for the club. Since taking over the club in early December it is clear this club could well be on the rise through the non league pyramid and potentially up to the top but there has been drama already.
Since taking over Billericay have not held back in recruitment bringing in a host of experienced national league players including goalkeeper Alan Julian and striker Adam Cunnington both from Bromley. On top of that they broke their transfer record just last week paying £24,000 for Hemel Hempstead striker Jake Robinson. But possibly their biggest 2 and most surprising coups would be former England international Paul Konchesky from Gillingham and also former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara who has recently been making a name for himself on television programme celebrity big brother.
With these big names coming in and with the possibility of many more coming for next season and beyond it is clear Billericay are aiming high, but what is the target for this season? Well it seems to be the playoffs in the isthmian premier league, the league they are currently occupied in. With 6 games to go Billericay are 2 points off the playoff places and have a game in hand. With the current squad I imagine that would be the minimum aim for owner Tamplin who I am sure will be setting the team the target of winning the playoffs should they make them.
As it stands though Tamplin will be the man at the helm for Ricay in the playoffs as there is no current manager in place as former manager Craig Edwards quit as he felt promises made to him by Tamplin had been Broken. Edwards was today appointed manager of fellow isthmian league side Kingstonian but since his departure Tamplin has named himself as temporary manager and at this moment in time still occupies that post.
It will be very unlikely Tamplin is the main man in the dugout for next season regardless what league Billericay are in next season but I think it
s certain a big name who is established in the non league game could well be at the helm along with a host of fellow big names from leagues above. It’s clear the club could be progressing up the footballing pyramid for the next couple of years and it just goes to show there is money in non league even if it does come across as slightly controversial. There is talk of publicity acts at Billericay especially when they announced the signing of Jamie O’hara. How long this tenure of owner Tamplin and the large amounts of investment continue is anybody’s guess as is what league they will occupy in the years to come, but it is safe to say for now this small Essex club could well be giving their town something to shout about and could be also raising a few eyebrows throughout English football to.
Could the story at Billericay be a footballing fairy tale or will it be a footballing disaster for the club?