Harry Hudson is excited about Sevenoaks’ future – meet football’s newest nice guy!

Credit: Adam Beaumont

With just five games remaining this season, Harry Hudson, the new manager at Sevenoaks Town FC, definitely has a challenge on his hands. Sevenoaks Sport & Wellbeing caught up with Harry to see how he’s settled in at Greatness Park.

“Firstly I would like to say that this is a fantastic club to be a part of, I’m really really happy to be here. The ownership and the direction of the club is wildly refreshing. It’s been trying circumstances to come into, I’ve never taken over a club mid-season before, and I’ve never been part of a relegation battle – it’s been a whirlwind!

I’ve had incredible support from all the staff at the club, Paul [Lansdale] has been fantastic. When I came to speak with Paul and Sam [Lansdale], they presented me their vision for the club, and I never had that before and I don’t think that many other football clubs have a three-to-five-to-seven-year vision of what they want to achieve.

There was such clarity on what they want to achieve and that encompasses everything from the facilities to the under-7’s to the disabled football, the women’s team, and the vets. It is beautiful to see that there is so much care for the club being a community asset.

At the two home games that I’ve been part of so far we’ve had mascots come with their families and we want to galvanise the youth section of the club and the community. We should be getting really good gates here, which we hope to do in the future.

The difficulty for me at the moment is that I am 99.9% concentrated on winning the remaining games to keep us in this league, but there are so many exciting things in the pipeline that we would love to introduce. Hopefully we can get some breathing space over the summer, but this is the start of a very exciting journey.

With regard to our current situation and remaining games, I do think that 40 points would be enough to keep us safe. When I came in I thought we’d need a minimum of 15/18 points to stay up – we’ve got ten points out of a possible 15 so far.

We’ve got some huge games coming up with teams around us, it’s such a crazy league this year. There are teams that have been on massive slumps but then pop up and win when you least expect it. At the moment there is no one out of it, and what that means is that you can’t for one second believe you’re out of it. I’m not one for clichés, but every game is a cup final, we are in that situation!

Credit: Adam Beaumont

We’ve got a good vibe in the group [of players] and it’s very hard to create that culture in such a short space of time. I’m really pleased with how the boys have got on; it helps when you’ve been relatively successful elsewhere.

If I’d come in and lost every game we’d be in a different position. We need to keep the momentum and I’m really pleased with what we’ve managed to achieve – assemble wise – in the time we’ve had. We’re not scrambling, we’ve got a healthy size of squad and it’s up to the management and players to get the results that we need.

The first player I called when I arrived was Corey Holder. He is an outstanding leader and a real role model here and he knows exactly what I want in terms of the standards. The dressing room for me isn’t my place, I come in for the times I’m needed for, to deliver the team talk which is minimal on game days, as we do all our work in the week.

It’s simply the players space, and if you have the right people [Holder] managing that space and the culture that is created within the changing room, then that’s probably more important than footballing ability. Corey was the most important person I wanted to get here as I knew he would set the standards and the culture that we would want.

Lastly, I’m optimistic, I’m excited, I feel at home here, I want to be here for an extended period of time. We’ll do everything in our power to stay up, and we will deal with whatever happens this season regardless.

The exciting thing is the vision for the club and the professionalism in the way it is run. Ultimately that means Sevenoaks Town will have a very successful future and be a massive part of the community for a long time and hopefully I can be a part of that journey, for as long as Paul wants me to be here.”

Sevenoaks face Faversham Town in a must win match this Saturday at The Bourne Stadium in Greatness Park. Discounted tickets can be purchased online at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/isthmian-league-sevenoaks-town-v-faversham-town-tickets-308270343897.