No grudge match, insists Jarrow Roofing boss ahead of Seaham Red Star clash

Former Seaham management duo Mark Collingwood and Simon Johnson are now at Jarrow Roofing.

Former Seaham management duo Mark Collingwood and Simon Johnson are now at Jarrow Roofing.

Richie McLoughlin insists confidence is high in the Jarrow Roofing camp at the moment and says that tomorrow’s trip to Seaham Red Star provides a good opportunity for his players to show just how far they have progressed.

It will be something of a reunion when the Roofers make the short trip down to County Durham as several Roofing players and management staff face off against their former side.

Joint manager Mark Collingwood, who started the season managing Seaham, coach Simon Johnson, and players such as Lee Kerr, Darryll Donnelly and Paul Gardiner have swapped Seaham Town Park for the Boldon CA Sports Ground this season.

McLoughlin, though, believes his players and staff will treat this fixture just like any other.

“For us, it’s just another game and another chance to build on the positives that we showed during last week’s draw at home to Newton Aycliffe,” he said.

“The players know that they can beat anyone on their day, so they are just determined to play to their best and try and bring back the three points.

“I think there’s one or two in the Seaham camp who are treating this game as a cup final because they will be coming up against their former manager and several former teammates, but we are not going to be drawn into that, it won’t do us any good.

“Confidence is high, and the players just want to get back out on the pitch and play. They are looking to win, and that would obviously be the case regardless of whether we were playing Seaham or not.”

The two sides last met in August, where goals from Dan Kirkup and Gardiner helped Red Star to a 3-1 success at the CA, with Collingwood in the opposing dugout that day.

“The fact that Colly managed to put one over me that day just shows you how quickly things can change in football,” McLoughlin added. “A lot of things have changed at both clubs since then, but I think we are now in a much stronger place since the last match against Seaham.

“A lot of players have been brought in, the managerial side of the club has changed and lots of new ideas have been brought in to help the club progress. It’s been difficult at times, but you can tell that the work we’re putting in is starting to pay off.”

Defender Arjun Purewal will return for the Roofers, but Brad Varga is a doubt after he picked up a knock.