Whyteleafe FC

Gaffer's Chat with Harry Hudson - 13/09/2018

Whyteleafe FC fan, committee member and local motoring journalist, Steve Hole, talks to manager Harry Hudson each week.

FA CUP drama this week with a last gasp winner in the replay against Corinthian Casuals on Tuesday evening and Harry tells us his thoughts on those two matches and on our return to Bostik South East League duty away to Sittingbourne this coming Saturday (September 15).

Each week Harry will bring us his thoughts and important team news, the ins, the outs, and the highs and lows.

Wow, Harry what a week. Was it a little disappointing to have come away from the Casuals game last Saturday with a draw. We dominated the game, didn’t we?
 Yes, I think we definitely did enough to win on Saturday. In terms of chances created we should have dispatched at least one of those to take ourselves through. It was important we didn't dwell on that missed opportunity and we went into the replay and had another good go to get the St Albans FA Cup tie.  

The lads didn’t seem overawed at all about facing a Bostik Prem side? A very big, tall Prem side at that. Did you learn something about the team on Saturday watching how they performed?
 I would like to think we are well-equipped to deal with the physical side of football. The young players have had a good grounding last year in the SCEFL Premier and think they show they can mix it when they need to. That being said we have a spine of experienced players in Nathan, Corey and Bentley, who are excellent for our younger players. We learnt on Saturday that we have no fear and there is a genuine belief we can cause any team problems on our day. 

Then we had the replay on Tuesday evening. An eventful game! It must have made you and Calum extremely proud how they came back from a goal down and frankly, dominated the match?
 We re-shaped things at half-time and I thought we were very good in the second half and created enough chances to win the game, albeit in the 90th minute. Over the course of the two ties I thought we deserved to go through but credit to Casuals in the first half yesterday - they had us on the ropes, at times. It showed great character from our boys to turn around another 1-0 deficit at half.

A bit early yet but your thoughts on facing Vanarama South side, St Albans City, managed by ex-Arsenal player, Ian Allinson?
 It will be a great occasion for the club - the fans and the players deserve the game at St Albans. I haven’t managed to do any homework on them yet but will do in due course. What I can definitely say, at this stage, is that we will play with no fear and believe we can cause any club problems, if we play to our level, no matter their status. 

Now we really are playing a non-league ‘big boy’. Without giving too much away, how do you prepare the lads for an opponent two divisions above us in the football pyramid?
 Yes, I assume it will be a slightly different test from what we face week in and week out. However, our preparations will not change and we will approach the game like any other - we will have a plan and try our best to implement it on the pitch. The pressure will be on St Albans, at their ground, to roll us over, so we can play with freedom and express ourselves - I am sure it will be a good spectacle. 

One of the Leafe fans, who knows about such things reckons this is the first time we’ve played such a big non-league side for about ten years (Windsor & Eton in 2008/9 season?) you and the lads must have got a real lift from our fans on Tuesday evening? They were magnificent.
 Absolutely magnificent. As a club, including management, players and staff alike, we pulled together in the second half and re-grouped. It would have been easy to freeze with Casuals in control at half time but that didn’t happen. The fans helped us get going and get back into the game. The day out and experience of the St Albans game, hopefully, goes some way to repay the fans! They have been brilliant so far.

Before you deal with the St Albans game, we return to Bostik League action this Saturday, away to Sitingbourne Town FC. Thoughts on our opponents, managed by Aslan Ödev? Last time out they were on the wrong end of a topsy-turvy nine goal thriller against Thamesmead, losing out 5-4 and they sit tenth in table after four games.
 It is a difficult place to go and pick up points but we will definitely be focused on Sittingbourne when we come back into training on Thursday. They have threats, including a huge long throw, which we will need to manage to hopefully come away with the result we want on Saturday. 

Matches come thick and fast at the minute. We’re in Cup action again next Tuesday this time in the Velocity Trophy away to Egham Town, from the Bostik South Central division, who after an indifferent start to their campaign have a new manager in Ashley Smith. How do you see that game?
 It is always interesting to see how clubs approach cup competitions - there have been some freakish results already in the Velocity Trophy. We haven’t done ourselves any favours having to play two replays in the last two weeks so we will see how the lads after Saturday’s league game, which will of course be our priority. I saw Egham beat Staines in the FA Cup last week though - what a great first game for their new manager (they beat local rivals Staines Town 1-0 in the FA Cup).

After a couple of bruising matches against Casuals, any injuries to report, going into Saturday?
No, none to report just some tired legs! We should have some of our players awaiting international clearance available for Saturday/Tuesday so that will be an extra boost to our squad. Onwards and upwards! Up the Leafe! 

Next Match - Sittingbourne Town Football Club (Away) – 3:00pm

For Leafe fans travelling here is the vital at-a-glance information you require.

Sittingbourne play at the TEC Stadium, Woodstock Park, Sittingbourne, Kent ME9 8AG

£9 Adults
£5 Concessions (over 60s)
£4 Students (with proof of ID)
Under-16s – £3
Under-11s – FREE with a paying adult

They were founded in 1886 and their nickname is The Brickies. That name comes from the town’s history of brick-making. It’s reckoned that much of Victorian London was built using bricks made in the Sittingbourne area, which has all the raw materials needed to make a yellow Kent Stock brick.

Ex-Liverpool legend Jimmy Case played five games for Sittingbourne in 1993, with former Manchester United full-back, Arthur Albiston having a brief spell at the club a year later.

Their ground holds 3000 – current league position – 10th Position

Last Match – Lost to Gosport Borough on Pens (FA Cup First Qualifying round).

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