Whyteleafe FC

Gaffer's Chat with Harry Hudson - 02/08/2018

GAFFERS CHAT - Thursday 2nd August 2018
Whyteleafe FC fan and local motoring journalist, Steve Hole, talks to manager Harry Hudson. This week, Harry tells us his thoughts about the win over South Park and the defeat to Kingstonian, while also looks forward to the Molesey game. Each week Harry will bring us his thoughts and important team news, the ins, the outs, and the highs and lows.

Before we start this week - any new additions, injuries or players departed that we can report on? We solved our goalkeeping situation yesterday by agreeing terms with Tyler McCarthy. Tyler was a scholar at Dagenham and Redbridge FC before playing over 30 games last year for Bishop’s Stortford. Tyler fits our profile for a goalkeeper perfectly and we look forward to working with him for the coming season.

Additionally, I am very pleased to announce we have also signed striker Eddie Dusane who was a scholar at Crystal Palace before signing as a professional at Fleetwood Town – he has spent the last two seasons playing professionally in Ireland.    

Harry, tell us your thoughts on last Saturday’s game against South Park? 3-1 was another good result? I thought we only hit our level for about 25 minutes of the first half where we totally dominated them and should have scored at least two goals. That being said when you are on top of a game you need to turn your dominance into goals, which we did not do and South Park gained a foothold in the game through our inability to deal with direct play.

Thankfully the breakthrough came at 40 minutes and we were very disappointed to concede on the stroke of half time following a swift counter attack from South Park. Although we dominated for the majority of the half South Park had a few chances from counter attacks, which we need to work on. Second half was very flat and a very even game which disappointed us.

We made a change to our shape and we caused South Park more problems and managed to score two goals and have one disallowed. To sum up, we were pleased to win without playing well but we certainly didn’t hit the level we would have hoped for prior to kick-off

Then we had the match against Kingstonian on Tuesday evening, who have two of our ex-managers of course, in Leigh Dynan and Paul Dale. They looked like a quality outfit, how did you see that match? Plenty of reasons to be positive? Tuesday was an excellent test for us because their defensive organisation was something we had not faced thus far. I thought we started quite well and got ahead but they worked out our shape and started to stifle us. As the half wore on we looked bereft of ideas and stopped causing Kingstonian problems.

That being said to concede in the manner we did will always be disappointing – a header from a floated corner into the box is unacceptable at any level. We tweaked a few things at half time but quickly fell behind to a counter-attack after we felt there was a foul on our centre back coming out with the ball; they exposed the space left and from that point on Kingstonian relaxed and looked full of confidence.

The scoreline is very fair and they were better than us on the evening. I think if Kingstonian can continue that form into the start of the season they will do well and push for promotion, which I know is their target.     

One player who is getting the fans excited is left winger, young Gus Lukini. Can you tell us a bit about him and how he came to be at Whyteleafe? We have worked with Gus for around nine months now and his development has been outstanding – he is now a player who is effective in football matches. Gus has always had a lot of ability but we have worked hard with him so that he can be effective both with and without the ball.

He is still only 18 years old and has another year full time with us at Kinetic Foundation to complete his education. We will still have to be patient with Gus and give him time as with any young player but his form in the past 3 games has been exceptional.  

I hear we’ve picked up a few injuries in the pre-season games? Can you tell us more? First up was Lauris Chin who innocuously twisted his knee in a shooting practice four weeks ago but we hope to have him back training next week. Corey Holden has had a bruised toe, which we have been protecting in the last two weeks but he should play against Molesey this Saturday. Finally, Ricardo was on the end of a poor challenge in the Tooting game and has ankle ligament damage but again he should start training next week. All injuries have been unavoidable from challenges or twists – we haven’t had any muscular injuries touch wood!  

Can we have your thoughts on this Saturday’s final pre-season game against Molesey (Church Road, 3pm) and any early team news? We are only missing one player Saturday (Brad Wilson) so we should be starting with what we would be looking at for the first league game the following week (Guernsey, Church Road, 2pm kick-off).

It is very important we maintain momentum and we will be looking for a positive performance and subsequent result to take into the Guernsey match. I do not know much about Molesey this year but will be doing our homework tomorrow morning and will structure our game model accordingly.

We played them last year when I was manager at Croydon in the Surrey Cup and we raced into a 2-0 lead before conceding two late goals and losing 14-15 on penalties! 
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