This is our first edition of “Ernie – Under the hat”, our pre-match interview with Sheppey United Manager Ernie Batten.
Who is missing for tomorrows Emirates FA Cup game against AFC Croydon?
Ian Batten is suspended.
John Ralph picked up an injury 10 days ago, it looks like a reaction from the Achilles injury that kept him out last season but we have been nursing him and he will have a late fitness test tomorrow.
Jim Huggins is also doubtful, he couldn’t train last night because of an ankle knock.
With Ian suspended, who will be captain tomorrow?
Ian and Rob Saunders will remain as Captain and Vice-captain this campaign so Rob takes the armband tomorrow.
Now pre-season is finished, have you got an idea of your starting 11?
I’ve got a good idea, pre-season was interesting as we haven’t had all the players together at the same time until now, but I have a good idea who will be starting but waiting on the 1 or 2 fitness tests.
Are you happy with the size of the squad?
Yes, 1 or 2 might come in depending on injuries and also performances. We need to see how the players gel together as the season progresses then asses again.
Who was your stand out player in pre-season?
That’s a difficult one but I have got to say Kwasi. He has come to us from a lower league and we are really happy with his progress.
What were your reasons behind expanding the coaching team?
We needed additional hands. Geoff does shift work and Barry is sometimes unavailable due to work so we needed another coach to cover any absences.
Are cups or the league your priority this year?
Definitely the league. Going on a cup run is great for the players and fans but cups are a bonus, the league is our bread and butter so it takes priority.
Will your hat be making an appearance tomorrow?
It’s a little early isn’t it but it might come out for a bit of luck
Thanks Ernie – good luck tomorrow!