Whyteleafe FC

Gaffer's Chat with Harry Hudson - 09/10/2019

Big boss man, chairman Mark Coote described it as a ‘momentous day for the club’, long serving goalkeeping coach Danny Rose said that the hairs were standing up on his arms with the emotion of it all and us fans were having a ball at the final whistle…In case you haven’t heard yet – where you been? – The Leafe have made it through to the fourth qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup. Here’s the thoughts of the gaffer, Harry Hudson.

Firstly, congratulations on getting through to the fourth qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup, Harry. You heard chairman Mark Coote. It was a momentous day for Whyteleafe FC. Now the dust has settled, what are your thoughts on the victory? Thanks. I was proud of our boys and the performance we delivered. We speak a lot about our identity as a team and it is very easy in high pressured environments to start to forget about our philosophy however that wasn’t the case. Although it took us until the second half to get the breakthrough I did feel as if it was just a matter of time. We dominated the ball against Abbey and suffocated them which made the majority of their attacks benign. We asked the boys to be patient at half time and they followed the game plan and got their just deserves.

A word for our gallant opponents, Abbey Rangers (from Tier 5)? That was their cup final on Saturday and they were lovely hosts, weren’t they? Really nice people who gave us great hospitality. 100% they were a true pleasure to visit. I arrived at their ground around 12pm and had a number of conversations with their officials. They have made astonishing progress in a short space of time and I am sure they will continue to shoot up the leagues. From speaking to their manager after the game they really are going about things the right way and I wish them all the very best for the season ahead. 

Today (Monday, October 7) saw the fourth qualifying round draw made and gave us a home tie against either, Chippenham Town FC or Slough Town FC, both of whom play in the National League South (two divisions above us). What are your thoughts on that? It’s fantastic to be back at Church Road where I think we can give anyone a go on our day. I don’t watch much National League South games but have some contacts who have already agreed to help us out so we will do our best homework and make a plan. 

A quick word for our ‘colleagues’ from the BetVictor Isthmian South East, Chichester City, who are keeping us company in the cup. They also had a great win on Saturday over Enfield Town? Amazing result! Another lovely club and a top team at our level. We are flying the South East league’s flag high!

How would describe the support from the The Leafe fans on Saturday? The best I have ever seen and heard in my time at the club. Supporters were in outstanding voice pretty much from the first whistle to the last. I cannot thank them enough for their support they were amazing. 

It must have helped lift spirits? Yes, most certainly - the boys love the fans, and at the moment, they feel very close to our supporters. 

The mood must be good as they were digging out old favourite songs too. The tribute song to Bentley Graham was masterful I thought. I just wish I could reproduce it on here, but as this is a family website, I best not … Ha ha no comment! 

The coach journey home was loud and raucous? Yes, we do enjoy our coach journeys! Plus with Rosey (goalkeeping coach, Danny Rose) at the helm everyone is sure to have an enjoyable time!

Back on terra firma, we entertain Tooting & Mitcham FC on Saturday (Church Road – 3pm) in another very important cup game. We kick off our FA Trophy campaign. That will be a tough one? Yes, it really will be - they are an excellent side at this level and I expect them to get promoted this year. They are a really good footballing side and I am sure the game Saturday will be an excellent spectacle. 

I hear that a fan favourite from last season, central defender, Helge Orome has rejoined the club? We are waiting for papers to go through but yes Helge is back!

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