Whyteleafe FC

Gaffer's Chat With Harry Hudson - 08/12/2018


Whyteleafe FC fan and motoring journalist, Steve Hole, gets fed up with the price of posh coffee and reverts to a cup of tea this week, for his chat with Leafe boss, Harry Hudson.

Word among the fans since the autumn has been that some unfortunate team would be on the end of a tonking from us. Sadly, for them it was Faversham last Saturday. Harry brings us his thoughts on that one and this Saturday’s game away to Ashford United.

While we fans mourn the departure of Eddie Dsane, we wish him well for his new career at Colchester United and thank him for his goals. However, Harry and Calum seem to have un-earthed us a superb replacement in ex-Rochdale striker, David Owusu. He scored two on his debut, while Marvin Armstrong had another contender for ‘worldy goal of the season’.

Lovely to see Whyteleafe junior, 16-year old Ryan Penton come on in the second half against Faversham and play so well, too.

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

Superb win at home last Saturday against Faversham Town, Harry. That must have been satisfying?
Yes, we have been waiting to put a team to the sword and we finally achieved that on Saturday. It was important to follow up the Hastings win with another victory and prove we have found a way to beat teams at home in our usual style. Very pleased with the boys and hope the fans enjoyed the game!

There were some great performances on Saturday. Who particularly stood out, do you think?
Hard to single anyone in particular out because the squad performance was very strong. I was buzzing for Chinny to score and David Owusu made a big impact on his debut! 

What’s impressed the fans is the way we have bounced back from the minor blip of a few weeks ago. You must be very pleased, too?
Yes, I really am to be honest. Me and Calum were tested in a different way recently - not just tactically but more from a group dynamic perspective. We made a few changes, which were needed and thankfully we seem to be back on track. 

You seem to have found us a real gem of a centre forward in David Owusu? He scored two goals on his debut and the first in particular was a corker. What can you tell us about him?
I have known David for a number of years and he came through the Kinetic program before signing at Rochdale as a professional and playing in League One as a 17-year old. He unfortunately then suffered a back problem which kept him out of the game for over a year. He is just getting back to full fitness and he is an incredible talent who will be a real asset for us!  

There were other new faces on the bench on Saturday too. What can you tell us about Ryan Penton (who came on as a sub and looked a very useful player) and Harvey Bland?
Ryan has come through the Whyteleafe youth set up and is a fantastic prospect at only 16-years old. Credit to Darren and Andy in the under-18s for the work they have, and are still doing, to provide the first team with such talented young players - a big thank you to them.

Harvey is a full back we have signed from Margate who again strengthens us in an area we are slightly low on cover. 

I also hear through the grapevine that there might be other new signings in the pipeline?
We have also signed Valentino Carpene from Balham FC who is a young forward who I worked with at AFC Wimbledon - another exciting prospect for us. Additionally, Emmanuel Maja, whose brother Josh is performing excellently for Sunderland in League 1, has signed as cover for Bentley.

Maja is a classy deep lying midfielder who has been unlucky to not be signed by a professional club yet. Finally, we have also signed Kyen Nicholas, who is another forward, who was prolific for Guildford last year scoring over forty goals.  

Big away game this afternoon at Ashford United? They were big spenders (in Bostik League terms, anyway) and signed the likes of Harry Ottaway plus Leafe old boys, Antonio Simeone and Lanre Azeez (the latter two have now moved on though) and started the season on fire, although have since slipped down the table. How do you view that game?
They are on a great run after winning their last four games so it will be a tough game. They have good players and a new manager whose first result, three points away from home against Phoenix, will surely buoy them further. With the league so tight and the top eight playing each other this weekend, no one can afford to drop points!

Here’s this week’s random curve ball for you, Harry. How did you get into coaching and football management?
I was failed footballer unfortunately! At the point when professional football wasn't an option for me my father was embarking on his second career as a football coach.

I started coaching at fourteen and haven’t looked back since. I am lucky I managed to channel my love for Football into a career.  

Finally, any injuries for this afternoon?
Dan Hector is still struggling and Ash as a long term one of course. 

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