The BIG Interview! - Shaun Welford
Following the announcement of his commitment to the Cannons ahead of the 2015/16 season, the website caught up with Shaun Welford for an in-depth chat...
HTFC Website: So Shaun, brilliant news to hear that you are with us for the 2015/16 season, was there any doubt at all going into this summer, did things progress quickly with Tim?
SW: No doubt at all really, there were a few phone calls from the usual clubs that sniff about each season, but I'd made the mistake of leaving last year so I'm glad to be onboard!
HTFC Website: Both Hythe and the club you returned to us from, Cray Wanderers, survived the threat of relegation last season. I remember you saying after your return against Redhill that there is such a fine line between success and failure once you get dragged into a relegation scrap, and neither Cray or Hythe were bad sides, what do you think began to turn our season around?
SW: Little things can give teams a lift, I know Hythe were unlucky in a lot of their early season games losing by the odd goal here and there, being the better side but not getting anything out of games, so when a new player comes in it sometimes lifts spirits and sometimes that helps performances improve. I remember myself and Sam Bewick arriving at around the same time and results changed, we started winning and that's a good habit to get into, we went on a decent run and the boys were enjoying playing football again.
HTFC Website: What do you enjoy so much about life at Reachfields, considering the period of success you enjoyed captaining Maidstone?
SW: Maidstone was great, I really enjoyed my time there and had a lot of success, scoring regular, being part of the homecoming team, scoring the first Maidstone goal at the Gallagher and captaining the team to promotion! Loads of good memories. Then there's Hythe, for me Hythe had big shoes to fill after all the good times at Maidstone but what a season I had, scored the biggest goal tally of my career and enjoyed every one of them as well. It's such a friendly club with great people running it, there's ambition there and I can see big things happening in the future and hopefully I can be part of it in one way or another.
HTFC Website: We saw off relegation the season before last with experience and a little bit of the ‘Crazy Gang’ attitude, but this time round a much younger squad has come through that challenge, do you think that will improve and battle-harden our players in the long run?
SW: There's a good mix in the squad with the experienced boys who've been about a bit and the younger lads coming through, it’s up to us older boys to help guide them and show them what the league is all about! There's no doubt that with time if we can keep this lot together with maybe one or two added, we'll get better and better and I've no doubt that we'll be battling it out at the other end of the table!
HTFC Website: How important is skipper, James Morrish, staying on at the club and with no disrespect to the rest of the squad, Player’s Player of the Year, Laurence Harvey?
SW: Keeping the spine of any team is important especially when they're experienced decent players, me and Thommo up top, Mo and Yianni in the middle and of course Laurence at the back, that's a good solid spine! So I think it's vital that Hythe keep players like Mo at the club, it's a great base to build from so hopefully Tim's done his homework and is ready to add the players who'll push us on!
HTFC Website: How do you/did you become a Middlesex Wanderer?
SW: Steve Ward (former Stones Assistant Manager) gave me a call, he's a Wanderer and invited me along; it's in recognition of my career! They invited players from all levels of football in the hope we will promote their name when we return to our clubs and spread the word of the Middlesex Wanderers! It was a great experience where we played Dundee (we won 6-0 and I scored one) and Queens Park (won 2-0, scored a worldy!) We also had a stadium tour of Hampden Park and watched the play-off final at Stenhousemuir. All in all a great experience and an honour to be involved!
HTFC Website: If things go well again for you this season, is there any reason you wouldn’t repeat the decision to sign again this time next year, Paul Booth has set the example in Ryman South for experienced players hasn’t he?
SW: To be honest at the moment my feelings are that I will play my final years out with Hythe and then hopefully there will be another job for me whether it's washing the kit or coaching! So at the moment it's very likely I'll be staying, like I said I made a mistake leaving last year so I'm not rushing off anywhere in the near future so as long as there's a job for me here I can see me staying!
HTFC Website: Finally, any message you would like to send out to the Cannons supporters?
SW: I think they're in for a nice surprise this year, we've got such a good team spirit amongst the boys and we saw in glimpses what we could do. The key is to get that level of commitment and work rate every game not just every now and then, we know we can, so its producing it week in week out! One to watch??? Well me of course, I want my Golden Boot back and I'm determined to get it!
Shaun Welford...thank you for your time!
Originally Published - 22/05/15