Whyteleafe FC

Gaffer's Chat with Harry Hudson - 17/01/2019


Whyteleafe FC committee member and motoring journalist, Steve Hole, finds some left over mulled wine from Christmas but he and Harry quickly decided it tasted disgusting so they got back to a proper cup of tea for their weekly chat.

As ever with Harry he takes a defeat on the chin, so discusses last week’s two losses in his usual candid and honest way. He also looks forward to a tough away trip to Hastings this Saturday (January 19 – Pilot Field - 3pm) and another sunny south coast seaside awayday!

Great to see a good turnout of Leafe fans at Lancing last Saturday and as ever Harry, Calum and the boys send their sincere Thanks.

So, without further ado, here’s more from Harry as he brings us his thoughts and important team news, the ins, the outs, and the highs and lows.

Harry, I know you never shy away from talking about defeats, as you always like to take the positives out of those games and learn from them. What are your thoughts on last week’s Specsavers Surrey Senior Cup defeat at home to Walton Casuals of the Southern League Premier South, on penalties? I thought we were very unlucky to lose the game - we were the better side in the first half but they edged the second, so a draw was a fair result.
Penalties are always a lottery, unless you are the German national side, but Walton were certainly better than us at them! Walton Casuals are a very good team and are in the league above so for us to push them all the way is a testament to the players and how far they have come. It is a shame we couldn't progress though as I believe Walton will be one of the favourites for the Surrey Senior Cup this season, so to draw them at this stage of the competition was unfortunate.

Then tell us how you viewed last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat away to Horsham. That was a really enjoyable game between two incredibly closely-matched sides? Saturday was the first game all season where we probably deserved to lose the game. Horsham are a very well-organised team who were much better than us in the first half and I felt we were lucky to get in at half time 0-0 to be honest. We spoke about some tweaks at half time and after a poor first five minutes after the break, I thought we gained a foothold in the game. We had two big opportunities to go ahead and going into the last fifteen minutes I thought we looked the more likely but they have come up with the winner. Even on our best day, Horsham is a close game and we didn't quite reach our level individually or collectively on Saturday. I just want to say that the fans were exceptional on Saturday - we didn't give them much to cheer about but they were very vocal and it gave the players a lift at critical times during the match. Thank You.

This Saturday we have another seaside away day to Hastings and that one is another tough match. We’ve had two victories against them this season, thus far, but I think you class them as a quality and dangerous opponent? Yes, Hastings are certainly a quality team and we will need to replicate the performance levels of our last two games against them to get a result. They have changed personnel and shape since our last two encounters so we will have a very different plan to combat their new threats which we will try and implement. They are in good form and I am sure will be looking for revenge following our two wins this season, so it is a massive game! 

Here’s this week’s random football question, for you, Harry. One of the Leafe faithful has suggested that I ask you if Calum and you are ‘good cop, bad cop’ in your management approach? I’m only the messenger, remember. (Oh crikey, I’ll definitely get a thousand-yard stare from Calum on Saturday, now! Actually, though I thought it was a neat question.) We actually mix it up quite often and have equal input into decisions and selection etc. Despite my relatively friendly exterior I do have another side which thankfully this year I haven't had to use too often! Calum and I will have different relationships with each player and we try to use that as an advantage - naturally everyone will click in different ways with others. As a partnership, we like to think we don't do too bad.

Actually, a second random one for you this week. Several fans have asked me to ask you about early season fans favourite, winger Gus Lukini, as he’s been absent lately. What’s his situation? Gus was injured, then he was ill and then he was away over Christmas so we are hoping to get him back involved soon.

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