Whyteleafe FC

Gaffers Chat 27/11/2020

Steve Hole sits down for a Zoom call with Leafe gaffer Harry Hudson for a catch up and a little look back at the first half of the season pre-lockdown2. Best get on with it then!

Harry, how has the latest lockdown been for you? Have you been getting stuck into Netflix, drinking beer and watching footie on the telly like the rest of us?

I wish! The charity that I run has been continuing throughout ‘lockdown2’ as the young people are in full time education programmes so not much have changed! Apart from the Whyteleafe-shaped hole in my life!

The FA has given the club a re-start date for the Isthmian League which is December 19. Will you be playing a few friendlies between December 2 and the start date?

Yes, we have two games scheduled and we will be training three times a week – it is basically a mini pre-season again.

Can you give us a bit of an overview of what an Isthmian League manager does during an enforced break in the season? Although you can’t even train at present, I imagine there’s still plenty of calls and texts going back and forward to players and staff?

We have sent through some useful programmes and conditioning pieces to the players but it really is up to them to be motivated to keep in shape. It is a challenging time and I have spoken to some players more than others but hopefully everyone is well and raring to go!

Have you given the players a fitness programme for them to follow? The last thing you want is for a player to come back two stone heavier in early December?

Yes, we have sent some resources through to players but as I said above it really is down to the individual. Personally, I go crazy without physical activity so I have been doing something everyday, but each individual is different and some players might have needed some rest! We will see next week how much they have been doing!

Can you give me your feelings on how the first portion of the season was for you? I am sure that the fact the team was flying and then had the brakes piled on is frustrating to say the least? However, when all is said and done the FA Cup run was superb and a current fourth in the league is good too? I guess what I’m trying to ask is if we were having a pint back in August and I’d have said that by early December I could offer you a Third Qualifying Round in the FA Cup and a Top Three in the league, you may have taken that? Knowing you though, you ain’t gonna be laurel resting! 

It has been a positive start and we have only let ourselves down in the Ashford game. I felt we were getting some momentum before this lockdown so that is a shame but we have to find that form again – simple as that! Everyone is in the same boat though and I suppose it will be down to who can hit the ground running first.

It goes without saying that you and the boys are looking forward to getting back on the pitch again and of course, interacting with Leafe fans once more? Can’t come soon enough, I imagine.

100% our fans have gone to another level this year! The crowds have been massively up on previous seasons and their support has been exceptional. Even in the Chesham game before lockdown, on a miserable rainy day, in Buckinghamshire, we more than competed with their substantial crowd and the Leafe army were in great voice! 

Apologies that we couldn’t see out the game although a Tuesday night away fixture in Somerset at Weston-super-Mare in the next round might have been one we did well to avoid!  

There’s been a, ahem, er, 'self-isolation’ delay (he knows who he is!) on the sponsorship scheme but that is now back on track again and should, all being well, as long as General Manager, Clive Davis, rubber stamps it, be launched very soon. 

You would politely request that Leafe fans get involved with the initiative if possible?

Yes please! It is a fantastic initiative which will not only provide some much-needed revenue to the first team but also will bring the fans closer to the players! Jump on it while you can!

Stone Edge
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