JUSTIN Gardner is hoping a more attacking formation will propel his Aveley side to promotion this season.

The Aveley manager experimented with 3-5-2 formation against East Thurrock United and Grays Athletic in last weekend’s Millers Challenge Invitational, which the Ryman North side won with victories over both their Ryman Premier League rivals.

Gardner used attacking full-backs Danny Coyne and Billy Sendal to bomb forward from wide positions, with ex-Grays centre-back Junior Baker marshalling the back-line. And the exuberant manager says his side have a good balance between attack and defence.

“I am experimenting with a change in formation for the new season,” confirmed Gardner.

“Much of the focus is aimed art improving our attack and with the players we have brought in, we are able to play the football we want to play.

“This is an ambitious team and an expansive team. We have goals running through the team and I believe we are capable of challenging at the very top as we have so many exciting players.”

Aveley have also brought in Danny Francis, Sammy Knott, James Marrable, Marcus Elliot, Andy Tomlinson, Troy Powell, Jack Sawyer and Jake McIntyre to strengthen the Millers’ title push, with new strikers Elliot and Francis amongst the goals in last weekend’s tournament.

“I want, and the players want, to get promoted,” said Gardner. “That is our only aim and what we are all pushing for. I want to lead this side to the Ryman Premier, a division I believe we could compete well in.”

And Gardner said the signing of ex-Thamesmead Town defender Baker was a signing showing his team’s intent.

“Junior is a great bit of business. Of all the lads we have brought in he was one of the hardest but it is very satisfying to see him in an Aveley shirt. He is a leader and we are impressed at his contribution already,” he said.

Aveley kick-off their season against Waltham Abbey at Millfield, on Saturday August 9.