“Ernie – Under the hat”, an interview with Sheppey United Manager Ernie Batten.
Were you happy with Saturday’s performance?
I was overall, I think it was a fair result, I was disappointed we conceded the equaliser in the 88th minute but overall a fair result.
Were you and Jason (Bourne – Tunbridge Wells Manager) in agreement about going to a replay rather than penalties?
Yes, we both agreed ahead of the game. I don’t think penalties are the best way to decide a result, I think another game is a better route.
We saw Robert Budd in goal for the Ite’s on Saturday, why was Adam released and what else can you tell us about Rob?
Adam was recommended to me and I had never seen him play before and as always you have to make an assessment of a player. After seeing him in the games for us I thought he pulled of a few great saves but ultimately I wanted someone who can dominate the 6 yard box more. We will always try and play football on the deck but most teams in this league are more direct, because of that I prefer my Goalkeepers to come out and deal with the crosses and other aerial threats rather than the centre-backs like Girt winning them.
Rob is a proven Ryman level Goalkeeper, he was in the Ryman team of the season when with Thamesmead a couple of seasons ago. He broke his hand in pre-season with Herne Bay and is now getting back to full strength. Its a short term signing initially but could be extended.
Tom Brunt was on the bench on Saturday, how is his recovery going?
He warmed up with the lads on Saturday but he is not 100%. I know about hamstring injuries and I don’t want to risk rushing him back, he will have another fitness test tomorrow but I don’t want to rush him.
Who is unavailable for tomorrow?
Rob Saunders – His arm is in a sling for 3 more weeks, with physio, I’m hoping 4 weeks until a return.
Hicham should return tomorrow after his wife gave birth in the early hours of Saturday.
We saw David Adekoyo named on the bench on Saturday, who is he?
David is on dual registration with us from Sittingbourne. He is a full-back but Sittingbourne have quite a bit of experience in that department at the moment so we are taking a look at him.
Josue Antonio is also coming to us, he can’t play tomorrow as you have to have been available in the first match to play in the replay, but he is a 6ft4 centre half released from Swindon Town.
You may have noticed Brad Sanderman in the dugout? He is an Islander and was assistant manager under James Collins at Cray Valley and he has been helping us out since James left Cray.