Whyteleafe FC

Gaffer's Chat with Harry Hudson - 05/09/2019

An eventful couple of weeks for Whyteleafe FC and Steve Hole talks to Harry Hudson for their regular sit down while absorbed by the marvelous Carabao Cup tie between Lincoln City and Everton last Wednesday. Then we were both so busy we didn’t get the chance to file it in time to get it on the club’s website last week! Apologies.

Harry, great win away to Cray Valley PM in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday, August 24th. They are league rivals too, so it must have been doubly satisfying?
Yes, it was a great result and certainly helps the club financially. In truth, I thought it was a pretty poor game with the extreme heat and sticky pitch impacting the style each team would look to implement. 

Once we scored first though I thought we looked relatively comfortable barring a few individual errors, which they could have capitalised on. Tyler also made an outstanding save at 1-0 which was critical. 

The blazing heat – 32-degrees at kick-off – couldn’t have made it easy?
No certainly not – I was tired just watching the players! 32 degrees is not football weather, in my opinion!

Then on Bank Holiday Monday we had a superb win (4-1) at home to Guernsey, who it must be said came to win and look more combative this season?
Yes indeed, I think Guernsey have much more firepower this year and will 100% score goals and cause teams a lot of problems. The first half I thought we really took the game to them and in truth should have put the game to bed by half time. 

Second half we really took our foot off the gas and let them back in – the offside goal would have made it 3-2 with 20 minutes left and we have spoken as a group about the need to finish games off when in the ascendency.
Silly question I guess, but are you pleased with the start to the season?
Remarkably everyone is saying that our best performance was against Herne Bay in the season opener and we failed to win that one! We have to keep everyone fit and take each game one at a time to keep the run going – it is a very long season and we learnt that last year.

Back to the Emirates FA Cup and the first qualifying round draw gave us a home tie at Church Road against local rivals and BetVictor Isthmian Premier side, Merstham FC (Saturday – 3pm). Thoughts on that one?
It could be easier as there are still teams from our level and even the league below we could have faced but in the same way we will not fear anyone. You cannot read anything really from the pre-season friendly victory we had, so I am sure it will be a good game and we hope to draw a large crowd!  Bradley Wilson has just signed there as well so be good to see him back! 

We headed for sunny Hastings last Saturday to take on our perennial rivals and ended up losing 1-0. From what I saw, that was a harsh defeat. I bet that was a hard one to take? How did you see the game?
I thought it was a very close game which felt like two teams sussing each other out. They were better than us in the first half and capitalised on one slip in concentration which Pope dispatched with aplomb. Second half though I thought the boys were very good and took control of the game. Although we didn’t create a plethora of opportunities we did enough to score one and deserved a point in my opinion. Hastings are very secure this year and teams will have to be very good to score against them - they give you nothingThe group were really disappointed to lose the game and I think that speaks volumes for how far we have come.  

Finally, it was very sad to hear about Bury being expelled from the Football League, although the other troubled club, Bolton Wanderers did find a last-minute buyer.
Awful news – in this day and age no Football League club should be expelled. We really need to look at how the funding is finding its way down the pyramid and have far more robust measures in place to test whether potential owners are right for these clubs. Football clubs are at the heart of their communities and need to be protected.


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