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Tonbridge Angels' Joe Turner praises team spirit after reaching Bostik Premier play-offs

Player-of-the-year Joe Turner believes Tonbridge’s team spirit has been key to reaching the play-offs.

Angels head to Haringey in the Bostik Premier play-offs on Thursday night and Turner thinks the club is reaping the rewards of some smart recruiting last summer.

“I would say it’s probably the best changing room I’ve been involved with,” he said.

Tonbridge's Joe Turner on the ball against Gillingham in pre-season. Picture: Andy Payton
Tonbridge's Joe Turner on the ball against Gillingham in pre-season. Picture: Andy Payton

“You’ve got a great mix of experience and youngsters, it’s a great vibe, we do things together socially.

“We knew at Christmas that we had to rally together, it’s a squad thing and when you go on a run like we have the squad has to be fully used.

“It’s a massive part of what we’re trying to achieve - it’s a great team spirit, everyone’s together and we’re fully focused on Thursday.

“Steve McKimm (manager) recruited brilliantly in the summer. Our defence is one of the best in the league on its day, arguably the best keeper In the league, and that has been the foundation for us to build on to allow the likes of me and the attacking players to go and do our thing.”

Turner was voted Tonbridge’s star performer this season by the fans but he believes the award could have gone to any of his team-mates.

“It’s been an absolute delight to play at Longmead this year,” said Turner. “I’m delighted. I love the club to pieces.

“I had a great season last year and was gutted we didn’t achieve anything.

“A massive shout out to the fans for voting me player-of-the-year. It could have gone to anyone as there have been some serious contenders.

“I’m joint top scorer from left-midfield, it’s my job to score and create, and I wanted that consistency from last year to continue so I’m delighted.

“Since I’ve been at Tonbridge I’ve really enjoyed my football and that’s down to the fans, Steve and the boys. It’s a great club and I hope we can push it to the next level.”

There was little to choose between the four play-off contenders during the league campaign. Angels and Haringey both won their respective home games and it’s going to be a tight game to call.

Turner, who will play through the pain barrier on Thursday before undergoing surgery on an abdominal tear next month, said: “Haringey are a good side and good at home on the artificial surface.

“We beat each other in the league so I think they’ll be as wary of us as we are of them. It’s a play-off game, anything can happen.

“Everyone is going to give their all to come out on top and hopefully it is us.

“With the budget that the gaffer has got and the size of the squad this is already a phenomenal achievement.

“We were sat ninth or 10th at the turn of the year and we finished fourth – not far off second - which is an amazing achievement for the club.

“We’ll train on Tuesday, really knuckle down and pull in the same direction on Thursday.”

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