Whyteleafe FC

Gaffer's Chat With Harry Hudson - 18/10/2018


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

Tales of a jolly boys – and girls – outing to the seaside last week, with the great FA Trophy win at Hastings United and also news of a returning hero in the shape of new signing SCOTT DAY!

Each week, Harry brings you the highs and the lows of managing The Leafe!

Every week I seem to say ‘Wow, Harry, what a week’ but at the risk of repeating myself – again – last week truly was a special one? 
Yes, it was a very enjoyable week, which culminated in us getting a positive result against Hastings on Saturday. We have to enjoy these results!

You’d identified Hastings, along with Cray Wanderers, as being the teams to look out for, during pre-season? 
Yes, certainly and I still believe they are the teams to beat in our league. Both sides pose different challenges, have different strengths and also have different weaknesses. People have said that both teams are footballing teams but it is not as simple as approaching ‘footballing teams’ in one way.

I have a lot of respect for both of them and still believe they will fight it out for automatic promotion but we have proven that we can match them, on our day, which is very pleasing for us!

You are also on record as saying that last Saturday’s FA Trophy tie away to Hastings would be a proper test. Looks like the lads passed the exam with flying colours? 
Yes, certainly and it really was a great test. We got the first goal following a massive mistake by their player, but listen Akongo still had a lot to do to score, but that totally changed the dynamic of the game and meant Hastings had to chase us.

Additionally, we got the penalty at a really good time and then kicked on. I felt we nullified Hastings well but football matches are about scoring goals at the right times and we did that on Saturday. Once we got the second though I thought we were brilliant and maybe could have scored more.

No one goes to Hastings’ ground and beats them 4-2, right? 
I don’t think there will be many teams that will take points off them at their ground to be honest. I can see Hastings being involved in high scoring games due to their style of play. They have a lovely ground, fantastic pitch and excellent support. 

What particularly pleased you about the performance other than the bleedin’ obvious 4-2 victory, of course? 
The discipline and tactical adaptation of our team was outstanding. Without giving too much away we implemented a different tactical approach against Hastings and thankfully it paid off. Any plan is great on a tactics whiteboard but only the players can implement it and make it effective – all credit to them!

The coach ride to the seaside with the fans made it even better? I heard it was quite a ride, especially on the journey home? 
We certainly had fun and it was a great chance for supporters to get to know the players more! It was a real treat for us to have a coach and we made the most of it!

At Monday’s draw for the next round we were handed another awayday to Tonbridge Angels, who currently sit top of the Bostik Premier League? What are your thoughts on that one, Harry? 
It is another tough draw! We don’t seem to be getting favourable draws in FA competitions this season, but the game at Tonbridge will be a great chance to try and cause another upset.

I know Barry and Steve at Tonbridge and they have both helped me out personally as a young manager. I have a lot of respect for what they have done in the game and I am really pleased that they are at the top of that league and doing really well. Our best performances have always come when we are underdogs and I know our players cannot wait, so fingers crossed!

Yet we beat them quite comfortably at their place in pre-season? 
Yes, but this is a totally different game – we played them right at the start of pre-season so I don’t think we can take much from that game. 

Will there be another coach trip? 
I really hope so! 

Almost forgot. I think there’s more good news to report this week? Are you able to reveal the exciting new signing we alluded to last week? You know, the one you said would really please the fans? 
We have managed to secure the return of Scott Day! A massive thank you to Leigh Dynan (Kingstonian manager) for helping with this and we look forward to getting Scott back on the pitch

The Bostik League game against Thamesmead has been called off because of their woes, BUT you have managed to arrange a last minute friendly, at home, I believe?
It is incredibly sad news to hear that Thamesmead have folded and filed for liquidation. We have managed to arrange a match at home against Dorking Reserves, which isn’t ideal but at such short notice was ll we could arrange. We felt it important to try and keep the momentum going.

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