Darren Mills believes he will thrive off the ammunition provided by an abundance of creative players at Bury Town as he looks to restore them to ‘their rightful division’, writes Russell Claydon.
The 28-year-old striker was credited with Saturday’s home goal in the disappointing 2-1 Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round defeat to Tilbury — which was only the second time in 14 years the Blues have dropped out of the competition at their first hurdle.
But after getting his goal account up-and-running, albeit in dubious circumstances, with Ollie Fenn’s deep cross being carried over the goal-line as Mills jumped into Tilbury’s number one, he believes he can fill the goal void left by Josh Mayhew’s exit.
The latter opted to go to lower-league Stowmarket Town over the summer having been Bury’s top goalscorer last season with 17 from 29 appearances in an injury-interrupted campaign.
“I feel very confident and I have not felt this way for ages,” said Mills.
“I feel I am going to get chances, especially with the likes of Ollie Canfer, Ollie Hughes, the boys out wide and Fenny.
“I have had a bit of a rocky time. I have been based out in Wales and came back two seasons ago.
“I did not really get the chance with Leiston that I thought I deserved. I went to Maldon and had an alright season there and then last season got injured.
“I feel fit and it is somewhere I can see myself spending a lot of time, and hopefully the goals will come with it.”
After injury struck last season at Maldon & Tiptree, Mills went into the lower leagues to re-discover his touch in front of goal with Coggeshall Town. Playing two levels down from Bury’s current division, he scored 10 times in 21 appearances as he helped the club win promotion as runners-up to Stowmarket in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division.
Before that he only managed eight appearances and one goal at Maldon & Tiptree, compared to 12 in 34 the season before, but now believes he can help get Bury back at a higher level.
“It is a great club. I have always liked Bury and thought they have under-achieved, getting knocked down into the north. They are a top team, so it would be nice to be a part of getting them back to where they are meant to be.”
The Blues host highly-fancied AFC Hornchurch tomorrow (3pm), who have won both their opening matches, before travelling over the border into Cambridgeshire to face Soham Town Rangers — who only avoided relegation on the last day of last season, on Bank Holiday Monday (3pm).
Of tomorrow’s test, Chenery, who has revealed Leon Ottley-Gooch’s calf injury will rule him out for a minimum of two weeks, said: “They are a good side but we will certainly get a reaction from the players on Saturday, that’s for sure.”