Whyteleafe FC

Gaffer's Chat with Harry Hudson - 04/01/2019

Whyteleafe FC fan and motoring journalist, Steve Hole, hits 2019 running with a winter warming cup of coffee with Leafe boss, Harry Hudson, as he looks towards the second half of the season and a push for promotion - or at least the play-offs. 

Harry reviews the defeat last Saturday away to Three Bridges Town and the forthcoming home game (Saturday, January 5, Church Road 3pm) against Greenwich Borough. 

Thanks for the kind words we’ve been getting about Gaffer’s Chat. Although details have to be formalised, plans are afoot for a LIVE Gaffer’s Chat that will take place in the clubhouse prior to a forthcoming home game. We’ll keep you posted on that one.

For the supporters who asked me to find out what Leafe striker, Lauris Chin’s 100-metre time is (I mentioned his swiftness in a recent match report while depping for Brian Davis), well, I asked him and he says the last time he had the stopwatch on him over the distance he clocked 11-seconds. That is properly quick!

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

A little blip last Saturday away to Three Bridges how did you view that one? Three Bridges don’t seem to take any prisoners! 
Sometimes in football you do not get what you deserve and I thought that was the case on Saturday. Although there were aspects we needed to improve upon from the game, we hit the woodwork the same amount of times they scored, and Tyler hasn’t made a save in the game.

If we had ever got ahead in the game I think we would have won but they scored against the run of play three times and we were constantly playing catch up. Three Bridges were a tough side though and will take points off teams especially at home – as proven by beating Horsham recently as well. 

There were plenty of plus points from the game though?
Yes, I think so especially in the second half when we controlled large parts of the game. Kelvin (new signing from Hastings Town) added a natural winger to our game and he will only get better and better with more games.

Luckily other results on Saturday and later on in the week went our way, with Guernsey, in particular, springing a bit of a surprise against Horsham? We’re still sitting nicely in third place in the league.
Third in the league! Yes, a lot of teams have been dropping points around us so thankfully we haven’t fallen out of the play off positions with the defeat on Saturday. The Christmas period always springs some funny results and this year has proven to be no different!

Unfortunately, you always look at where we would have been if we had secured three points on Saturday but we have to quickly move away from that and get ready for the next game.

I guess the play-offs are your minimum - and very realistic - aim now as we head into the second half off the season?
Yes, we are targeting a play-off position and believe that, on our day, we can beat anyone so you never know if you can get in there. It is a long season and we have to take each game one at a time but if we can replicate our first half of the season we will reach our target – to be in this position at this stage of the season is brilliant.

Random football question of the week. Klopp or Guardiola and why? 
Guardiola for me because he is more pioneering with his style. Klopp is incredibly passionate and has recruited very well for this season and I actually believe Liverpool will win the league!

We’re soon to be launching SPONSOR-A-PLAYER. Sounds exciting. How will it work and what will it mean to you and the boys? How can Leafe supporters get involved?
Yes, and a huge thank you to you, Steve for arranging this one! Fans will get the opportunity to sponsor a player, or players, and any money raised will go directly into the playing budget to support our promotion push…. any support will make a huge difference to the team so please get behind the scheme!

Important home game this Saturday when we host Greenwich Borough at Church Road. They haven’t enjoyed a good start to the season but have picked up recently? What do you know about them?
I know they have excellent forward players who are some of the best in the league so we cannot take them lightly. They appointed a second manager about two months ago and he has subsequently left, as well, with no official new appointment that I am aware of.

Additionally, they haven’t played for nearly two weeks so we are not 100 per cent sure what to expect. We need to be professional and apply ourselves to bounce back from Saturday.

Finally. Any injuries to report this week? I saw Ashley Paul-Robinson at Three Bridges. He doesn’t sound far away from a return to action after his horrible knee injury. He’s a player you rate highly, I think?
Ash will give us a huge lift when he returns for the final half of the season.  He trained well last night and will need some game time via a dual signing agreement but should be available in the next month or so. Ash is not only an outstanding footballer but he is also a huge personality and leader within the group – we cannot wait to get him back playing.

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