What are your first football memories as a youngster?
Ermm probably playing in the Tandridge League for a club called Whitehorse Wanderers, and me and my dad turned up at the ground and it was raining and cold. And my dad said get changed into your kit as I had it under my tracksuit. And I said I didn’t want to because of the weather.
How old were you when you first played for a team?
I think maybe 10 but I’m not sure as football was never my first sport. I preferred basketball and athletics to be honest. I liked playing football but it wasn’t my favourite sport.
Did you play for your school team?
Yeah I played for my school team from year 7 to year 9. Then I stopped because I really got into cricket because of my dad. In year 11 I played football here and there.
Did any of your boyhood friends or teammates go on to play at a professional level?
Erm no boyhood friends that I can think of, and no teammates come to mind either.
Do you have hidden talents in any other sports?
You’re going to think I’m bigging myself up here…… I’m good at most sports, apart from rugby. I’ve never played it and don’t think I ever will. As I said football wasn’t my main or favourite sport. I’m a decent all-round cricketer, basketball I love playing and always have, tennis, table tennis, badminton and athletics.
Who has been the toughest opponent you have faced in the Combined Counties League, and why?
The toughest opponent player or club? Player is hard cause I’ve played against so many. But Jaydon Gibbs stands out. I played against him in both season’s that Guildford won the league. He was unplayable, you showed him on his left or right and it didn’t matter. He was a nightmare to play against. And then toughest club I’d probably say that title winning Guildford side again as they were awesome in every position. The title winning Hartley Wintney team was tough too. They were so organised and direct. You knew what their game plan was but you couldn’t stop them
What has been the highest profile game in which you have played, and why was it important?
I had a few of these but there was a season when I was at SCR and we were fighting relegation. We had Guildford at home and we actually lost the game. But we stayed up because of Chertsey’s result. It isn’t high profile as in winning a league or a cup, but it meant a lot to the club and us as a team because you never want to get relegated from the league you’re in. We lost and thought we’d been relegated only to find out in the dying moments a result elsewhere has gone in our favour. The feeling at that time was crazy. There are other cup games, and league matches that I’ve been involved but they don’t match the feeling of that match. (Editor’s note: City also went into that match knowing that they needed victory to be certain of avoiding relegation. On a nervy afternoon goals from Anthony Baker and Dan Stewart saw Guildford claim a 2-0 victory.)
During your career you have played in defence, midfield and for a while up front. If you were picking the team where would you play yourself?
Centre back. Definitely centre back haha. The days of playing up front and midfield are long gone.
You are now considered a senior player. Do you enjoy having younger players look up to you as an example?
Corrr a senior player! Remind me of my age again why don’t ya!? Haha. Nah I love having the younger players around and helping them where I can as I remember being the younger player myself, and the older lot helping me along the way. It’s always enjoyable helping a player develop.
This season you have been elevated to an assistant manager role. Do you see yourself as a Gaffer someday?
Yeah I know Chris needs help doesn’t he!? He hasn’t a clue what he’s doing haha. No but seriously Chris has asked me to be one of his assistants this year. I feel, but also hope that it’s the right time. I have had a stint as player assistant manager before and I ended up just playing and not being assistant. So hopefully this time it plays out better. I do see myself as a gaffer someday. But I’ve still a lot to learn and take in from all managers. I watch their teams and how they carry themselves etc.
How do you juggle your football commitments with your day job?
It’s pretty easy as I normally finish with enough time to make training or meet times. The hardest part of juggling the both is having the energy after a long day at work. To then go and give your all in the evening, whether it be training or a match. But as I’ve been doing it for all these years I think I’ve got the hang of it (some will say I haven’t haha) But the key is to sleep well and eat and keep hydrated throughout the day… Not that I do this every week but I do try.
When finally your football playing days come to an end how will you spend your spare time?
I will spend my spare time with my kids and watching Liverpool and football in general. Oh and playing bowls maybe. Bowls will be later down the line but yeah I do love a bit of bowls lol.
Finally last season was disappointing for everybody at Guildford City. What are your realistic hopes for the new campaign – both personally and for the team?
It was very disappointing last season. Realistically for me would be to help build a team that’s willing to work together not only for themselves, but for the club. Ideally the aim is to finish higher than last season and win a cup. It’s easy to sit here and say I want to win the league, have a good run in an FA competition and win a cup along the way. But it’s not realistic (especially when you look at the last few seasons). We all know non-league football and how quickly people and things can change. So for me if I can help the club finish higher and win a cup for the fans in my first season in this new role I’ll be pleased. Anything more is a bonus.