Whyteleafe FC

Gaffer's Chat with Harry Hudson

Harry, let’s look back a week or so and talk about the Sevenoaks league game? After the chastening defeat against Cray, the week before it was good to eke out a hard fought away victory especially was due to injuries you had to field two seventeen year olds (Lesley Duru and Dami Olorunnisome), both, I hasten to add playing out of position. What are your thoughts on that one? It was an outstanding result for us and one that kept our promotion push going. Considering the players we were missing it makes the win even more impressive. We are lucky to have such strength in depth with the academy players and they have performed admirably when called upon.
Moving on seven days and last Saturday’s home victory against struggling Faversham Town was a pleasing result? There are signs too that a few players are back in top form, like Matt O’Donoghue. If anyone deserved a goal this season, it was Matt? Yes, it was great to see Matt O get his shooting boots back on and deliver the performance he did on Saturday. Although we didn’t play well in the second half we definitely did enough to secure the win and get another important 3 points. 

Ryan Gondoh was on fire - AGAIN? Yes, he quality is there for all to see and hopefully, he can keep up this form. 

Talking of ‘on fire’ - let's have your views on goalkeeper Tyler McCarthy’s form lately. He’s made some breathtaking saves? Good for the defence’s confidence - not to mention the gaffer’s, no doubt! - to have someone so dominant as Tyler behind them? Tyler has been outstanding when called upon in recent weeks. He is improving all the time and has a very bright future ahead of him I am sure. 

I think it would be good if each week we focus one player for a bit of special attention. Let’s kick off by talking about young Dami Olorunissome for a minute or two? You stuck him in earlier in the season as injury cover and although clearly talented he looked quite nervous. Not sure what’s happened in those intervening months but the lad has been playing out of skin when you’ve had to call on him in recent games. There were a couple of Sevenoaks fans who were asking after our young centre back when we played them….fact he was playing out of position and looked so accomplished suggests a bright future in football for him, Harry? He seems like a really nice, personable lad too? Dami is a fantastic talent and a mature young man. He has been dual signed with Croydon FC to keep his match sharpness up but when called upon in recent weeks has been exceptional. He started his journey with us as a winger and has gradually moved into the defensive line. He is an outstanding athlete and will go on to have a long career in football. 

With Mannie Mensah injured, you moved to sign the talented Alistair Gordon from VCD Athlietic as cover last week. He played well agisn Faversham and seemed to fit right in. Can you tell us more about Alistair? Ali was at Chelsea when he was younger, played for England youth teams before moving to Crystal Palace. I worked with him briefly when he was at Palace and we have always kept an eye on him. When the opportunity arose to move in for him it was a no brainer for us. He slotted in perfectly on Saturday and will be a big asset for us for the remainder of the season.  

Let’s now move on to Tuesday evening’s (Feb 18) Surrey Senior Cup second round tie away to Badshot Lea of the Combined Counties League. You stuck out a strong side for that one, Harry? Good result, too. Yes, it was important to keep momentum and get the win. 

Quick word for Badshot Lea. They look a neat and tidy side and pinged the ball around nicely at times? I thought they were a good side with some really bright young players. I am sure they will have a good season ahead. 
It must be good for you and Calum to see us looking more clinical against lower placed teams in cup games nowadays? Yeah, we put them to the sword in the second half and finished the game early on which is what we asked for. 
We move on to a shorter away trip to our local rivals, Chipstead in the next round now. They pushed us close in the Velocity Trophy earlier in the season. Should be a good local derby with a semi-final place awaiting the winners? I am sure it will be a big game for the fans and the two rival clubs! They are in excellent form so I am sure it will be an exciting game. 

How do you see this Saturday’s (Feb 22)  home game when we welcome Ramsgate FC to Church Road (3pm)? I guess above all you’ll be looking for a bit of payback after they beat us at their place 3-1 earlier in the season?
We owe them one that is for sure! Every game is so important for us now and it is another huge three points on offer. 

Ex-East Grinstead boss, Matt Longhurst is in charge at Ramsgate now? Yes, and they have picked up in recent weeks so we need to be at our best to secure the points!

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