Ben Martin hopes to bring play-off experience to the mix

Former skipper targets a return to the play-offs

DEFENDER Ben Martin hopes he can bring the experience he gained from helping Chelmsford City to last season’s play-offs to the new look St Albans City side following his return to Clarence Park.

The 6ft 7in centre-half made 24 appearances for the Essex county town side as they made the play-off semi-finals before suffering a 3-0 defeat to eventual winners Bath City and now Martin is hoping to use the knowledge gained from that experience to help City to similar success.

“It was a really good season (last year), it was just a shame we didn’t cap it off with getting to the final or going up,” Martin told the Herts Advertiser.

“Things move on, I’m back at St Albans now, hopefully I’ve taken a bit of experience I got from last year and bring it into this squad this year.

“It’s nice to be back. It was only a year away but the team has changed a little bit but there are a few familiar faces.”

The former City skipper played his first competitive 90 minutes of the season at Thurrock on Saturday after missing pre-season while he recovered from a knee operation.

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“That was my first competitive game of pre-season,” explained the 27-year-old.

“I had a knee op on June 23 and I haven’t actually played a competitive game. We had a few training matches this week but it was bit of a blow, especially the last 10 minutes.”

Despite the Saints’ small squad Martin believes Steve Castle’s side should be aiming for the play-offs. The defender has also been impressed with the youngsters that have been drafted into the team and felt that the opening hour at Thurrock showed just how good the team can be.

“We have got a small squad but everyone is enthusiastic; we’ve got some talented young lads here,” added Martin.

“Little Rob Magwood is only 18 years old but for a small guy he’s got a great big presence about him. Inih’s the same, he’s got a lot to learn but potentially he could be a very good striker and could go higher.

“We’ve got to aim higher, I think we can definitely aim for the play-offs. Today’s showing, for 70 or 65 minutes we were magnificent, it’s just a shame we were a bit na�ve. It’s something that may come into it and we’ve got to learn from.”