New boss says more signings will be needed to halt slump HAYES & YEADING UTD
HE handed three more players debuts on Monday night – but Hayes & Yeading joint boss Ritchie Hanlon insists the recruitment is not over yet.
Hanlon and fellow manager Paul Hughes have brought in almost an entire team’s worth of new players since taking over at United this month, many from former club Kings Langley.
Latest arrivals Josh Chamberlain and Connor Toomey, who boosted the number of ex-Kings players in the squad, and Priestley Farquharson, who captains Brunel University men’s team, made their bows in the 3-0 defeat at Hitchin Town.
But the comings and goings won’t stop there as Hanlon and Hughes search for the same blend which saw them lead Kings to three successive promotions.
Hanlon said: “We still need to recruit, but we want to recruit players with the mental strength we want, not players who have been here a while and are happy to turn up to collect their money.
“Some of the boys that have been here a while can be involved, but they need to learn that other side quickly. We’ll get there, it’s just getting the right players in the right positions, and we’ve got a few more areas to look at. There’s a lot of work to do, as a lot of boys in there are not used to winning, and we’ve got to put that right. We’ve got to make them enjoy playing football rather than it being a chore, and we have to get that winning mentality over quick.
“At Kings, we had time to get things right, but here we want to get it done quick because its a decent-sized club with decent infrastructure, and we want to do well.”
Egham Town were beaten 3-0 in the Southern League Cup last week with recent arrivals Mitchell Weiss, Josh Hutchinson and Terence Carter scoring the goals and new goalkeeper Danny Boness saving a penalty and being named man of the match.
But Hanlon and Hughes have so far presided over two league defeats, to titlechasing Leamington and Hitchin.
While there were positive signs in the Leamington defeat, Hanlon was left fuming by the manner of the surrender at Hitchin, which Hutchinson missed with an ankle injury.
“We were very lacklustre and that’s what we’re angry about,” said the joint manager. “It wasn’t everyone, some players showed, we just need more of them. But it doesn’t help when you give away three goals with schoolboy errors, we don’t get chances like we gave them.
“We’ve got to gel these boys quickly, but we had to play a few of them out of position. It was great to play Leamington and Hitchin though, because they will highlight the faults and show exactly what we need to do, there’s no plastering over the cracks and nicking a win.”
United visit St Neots Town on Saturday and Chesham United on Tuesday night. FOR Wealdstone’s Eddie Oshodi there are bigger things in life than football, writes Jon Batham.
The Stones full-back isn’t slow to profess his love for the beautiful game, but he cannot subscribe to former Liverpool legend Bill Shankly’s famous maxim that ‘football’s not a matter of life and death, it is far more important than that’.
As a devout Muslim, fans’ favourite Oshodi missed several games earlier this season to fulfil a vow to undertake a once in a lifetime haj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca, the religion’s most sacred place.
The Brent-born 24-year-old claims what he saw there gave him a different outlook on life.
“A year ago, I made an oath to embark on the journey and I know it came at a weird time footballing-wise, but in my life my God always comes first because it is my life, my religion,” said the Grosvenor Vale defender.
“What did I gain from it? Well once you go to a place with five million people and you see beggars all over the place, people who have lost limbs and little children out in 50 degrees of heat begging, it gives you a different perspective.
“You see people giving out of their own pockets, so even those who are the poorest don’t go hungry and thirsty because people are consistently giving.
“Once you get back you think about all the material things you have. I’m not saying it’s bad to want all these nice things, but you realise it is not the central thing.”
The former Watford youth contends his faith is sustaining him through what is a tough period for Gordon Bartlett’s men, with positive results thin on the ground and confidence far from its highest.
“My faith keeps me calmer on the pitch, for one thing, and I’m more balanced now,” added Oshodi. “[With] poor runs like this in the past, I could get down in the dumps and not be positive about things.
“But now my religion keeps me positive things will get better. You understand sometimes you have to go through a low before the high. Sometimes you do go through stages where you are not getting wins.”
Oshodi and co were due to be in FA Trophy replay action last night (Tuesday) against Maidenhead after the full-back and Johnny Wright scored in Saturday’s 2-2 draw between the two sides at York Road.
DEVOUT: Wealdstone’s Eddie Oshodi performed the haj earlier this season Picture: Pete Norton