Whyteleafe FC

Gaffer's Chat with Harry Hudson

Welcome to this week’s Gaffer’s Chat. As usual Leafe boss, Harry Hudson brings us news and views and rounds up Saturday’s outstanding performance and 4-2 win over third-placed Whitehawk at Church Road.

A quick word for Whitehawk fans who at the end of the game gave a standing ovation to our very own young group of Leafe Fanatics. Those boys bang that drum and sing for the Leafe for 90-minutes every home game and I thought that was a quality touch by Whitehawk’s fans, so big respect – and well done to the Leafe Fanatics. I know that Harry and boys love hearing their vocal support during games.

Harry, the victory over third-placed Whitehawk on Saturday was superb. Could it be possibly be described as our best performance of the season? Discuss! It was a much-needed performance and, even more important result, on Saturday. It is hard to quantify ‘best performance’ because there have been plenty of other performances this year when we have dominated the ball and shown more of our offensive quality – the Whitehawk game was different. We set the boys up in a different way and we were really pleased with our organisation and implementation of the game plan. I thought first half they caused us more problems than the second half, which seems odd to say as we conceded two goals in the second half but we controlled them slightly better in my opinion after a little tweak at half time.  Whitehawk are a very good side and I respect the way in which they approach football matches – it was refreshing to have a cagey tactical battle on Saturday.  

Not many teams in our league manage results like that against WhitehawkTheir recent form would certainly back up that statement! I think they will push Hastings all the way and I hope they do because they have a philosophy which is not often seen at this level of non-league and I respect that. It is important we can replicate the result at their place in nine days time. 

Putting the scoreline to one side for a moment – it must have been great to hear the Leafe fans in such fine voice on Saturday and not just the little group of Fanatics, who are great? They are amazing and I believe they have given our regular fans a lift as well. I know the club are looking to invest in a bigger drum for them so then we will hear them even more!

In the absence of Corey Holder and Nathan Campbell in central defence, I’m bigging up Jamie MacGeohegan. The guy is ‘Mr Dependable’ – he never lets anyone down and in recent games has been outstanding? He’s becoming a real fan favourite. Jamie has had to be patient for his run in the team which he is now getting and he doesn’t let me forget that and rightly so! Since Ashford, he has started every game for us and been exceptional. He is an exceptional role model for the younger players and as you say incredibly reliable but we can't do Jamie a disservice – he is a very talented player with the ball at his feet as well and we are lucky to have him.  

Tell us more about your new signing, Ryan Gondoh? I think you worked with him before at your Kinetic Foundation? He had a great debut on Saturday and looks an exciting acquisition. 
Yes, I have known Ryan for six years now. He was signed for Barnet after a trial match with us and he went on to play for their first team and then Colchester United. Ryan is supremely talented and I am sure what the fans saw on Saturday is just the start. Personally I am very excited to be working with Ryan again and we hope to build him back up to get back into the Football League.

Peter Wedgeworth richly deserved his goal on Saturday? His left foot is like a guided missile! 
Wedgy worked so hard on on Saturday and deserved his goal. I honestly think he is technically up there with the best in non-league.

We make the trip to Kent this Saturday to face Sittingbourne FC. They can be a handful on their day, so it won’t be one you’ll be taking lightly? They are in good form and we were lucky to earn three points last time we played them so we will have to approach the game properly. We need to try and go on a run now and cement our place in the playoffs but every team in the top ten will be saying the same thing! We need to focus on us, take each game one at a time and give it our best shot.

It was good to see Corey Holder make a cameo appearance as a sub on Saturday. How close is our captain and Corey’s central defensive partner, Nathan Campbell to a return? Very close we hope – he will train this week and we'll see how he gets on – fingers crossed!

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