Whyteleafe FC

Chairman's Chat with Mark Coote


We thought we’d ask Whyteleafe chairman Mark Coote for his views on recent FA Cup events!

In your long time at the club, Mark, how does last Saturday rank in the list of great Leafe occasions? 
It’s got to go down as one of the most exciting times in the last 20 years, Thetwo other occasions that stick in my mind as the most exciting - and nerve-racking games in my time - are the Chester City game at home and the home game versus Ashford Utd, which ultimately won us promotion back into the Isthmian League. Certainly, for the Ashford gameI was kicking a lot of backs of chairs…!!!!

It was fantastic to see - and hear - the fans support at Abbey Rangers last Saturday wasn't it? 
There was a real feeling of togetherness and a great atmosphere, I’ve said it many times “The Leafe Army” - when out in numbers and singing - are amongst the best fans in non-league football. Like most non-league fans they truly support their club and tend not to be as fickle as at the professional clubs. It’s so pleasing for me to not only see the same faces but over the last couple of seasonswe have been lucky to recruit a lot of new ones. That’s why occasions like this are so important for clubs, fans and players.

What are your thoughts on the fourth qualifying round draw? 
It’s going to be a momentous occasion, there is so much reward from this game. Without taking anything away from the game itself, the financial rewards are such that it can often help realise some of the goals and ambitions for football clubs. Every season clubs like us struggle to survive financially let alone drive forward, so littlecup run like this mean so much. It’s what helps keeps non-league football alive. It must be said that all the criticism the FA get for not supporting lower league or grassroots football, by spreading the prize money the way they havesproves they are listening. 

Back to our game. Chippenham Town are going to be a tough nut to crack and they have to be favourites, however, we have a very shrewd management team and with the calibre of player we have at our disposal this could be a 'giantkiller'. I suggest that anyone standing in front of me with 15 minutes to go if we’re leading, MOVE!!!!  I’d like to thank all the fans for their support and hope they have a wonderful matchday experience. My prediction? 2-0 final score!

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