Whyteleafe FC

Gaffer's Chat with Harry Hudson - 26/09/2019

Gaffer’s Chat returns and this week Steve and Harry had the chance to have a chat in the pouring rain at the Addlestone home of Abbey Rangers, while at the Emirates FA Cup replay against a combative Walthamstow FC side.

Harry, after what can only be described as an eventful couple of weeks for the club, it was Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round duty last Saturday. A long away trip to Moneyfields FC on the south coast in Portsmouth. That was a great win and you have to be pleased with that? Yes, most certainly - we played well and controlled Moneyfields for the majority. In truth, I think we should have won more comfortably than the scoreline suggests but the most important thing was to get our name in the hat for the next round, which we achieved.  It has been a difficult week for us as a group and we would like to dedicate the win to Antonio and his family.

After our soaking in Addlestone on Tuesday you now know our opponents in the Third Qualifying Round. An entertaining game saw Abbey Rangers triumph 2-1. Thoughts on our opponents? Abbey Rangers are an extremely resilient and combative side who absolutely cannot be underestimated. They have beaten some very strong sides to get this far and we will have to be at our best to win, what I expect, to be a difficult game. 

Whyteleafe and Chichester City are the last two from the BetVictor Isthmian South East left in the FA Cup. That’s great for our league? It is excellent for our league and I have a lot of respect for Chichester City and they deserve to be at this stage - they are a top side at our level. I’m sure both teams will be striving to still represent our league in the 4th qualifying round. 

I guess the fact that the likes of Abbey Rangers and a small handful of Tier 5 clubs is impressive, too. There were a few shocks last Saturday? Even in the qualifying rounds there are giant-killings!? The magic of the FA Cup! It is a cliché, but it will always throw up unexpected results - the complexion is very exciting and I don’t quite think anything matches the intensity of an FA Cup game. 

By the way, how was the coach journey to Portsmouth? Eventful! Especially on the way back home - we had a good time!

This Saturday we make the short trip to Reigate to face South Park in the group stages of the Velocity Cup. We beat them in pre-season quite comfortably? Similar to the game against Merstham in pre-season, you cannot read too much into pre-season games. However, we have Tooting on Tuesday, our memorial match for Antonio and his family on Thursday and Abbey Rangers on Saturday so we will need to utilise our squad effectively. 

Come Saturday we’ll have four games in hand on most sides in our division. How do you feel about that? It’s a double-edged sword to be honest. We will not know if it is positive or negative until Christmas time. If we build momentum games coming thick and fast is a good thing. However, if too many games lead to fatigue and injuries obviously, this will work against us. 

I haven’t wheeled this one out for a while, so any injuries to report? Jordan Clarke is still recovering but isn’t too far away from a return. 

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