by Hayden Bird

Buoyed from Leatherhead’s first some win of the season, the team look forward to facing Frimley Green on Tuesday night, 8th November. With the new Manager stating the importance of silverware in his first season, The Southern Combination Challenge Cup is seen as a trophy to be taken seriously. 
Having won our second game in three matches on Saturday, this game is also seen as a good opportunity to build momentum, as the confidence of the players continues to grow. 
Goalkeeper Luke Williams and defender Michael Elechi are both available for selection, having missed Saturday’s victory. Defenders Rob McGowan – who was unwell at the weekend- is also expected to be fit, while Rhys Paul and Samir Bajja have both returned to training.
New Tanners Boss, Hayden Bird confirmed he will select a strong team and is taking the competition seriously. “It’s essential the players create a winning mentality within the Dressing Room,” emphasised Hayden. “The only way to create that mentality, is is win trophies. Leatherhead is a big club, which needs to challenge in every competition. Therefore, in addition to climbing the table, we are keen to do well in all of the cups. We will select a strong side tomorrow night.”
“In the last couple of weeks, we have added quality to the squad. With quality, comes competition and players fighting for their places,” said Hayden. “Take Saturday for example, Luke (who has been excellent since my arrival) was unavailable so we signed Joe Ringer, who made an exceptional debut. Michael Elechi, who was probably the Man of the Match in our 2-1 victory at Merstham, wasn’t quite ready after his injury at Chertsey. Louis Collins has signed and looked an excellent addition.” 
“Equally, we now have depth in the squad. At 1-1 with twenty minutes left, the pace of both Jermaine and Lewis really put us on the front foot to go and win the game at the weekend. Competition improves players and I am delighted to see the players and the team improving.” 
Although the Leatherhead squad already looks decidedly stronger, when asked if further signings were imminent, the answer was clear. “Yes, we haven’t finished yet,” stressed the Manager. “Our thought process is to combine the experience of Jermaine, Tarps, Harry and Reise with exciting young talent.” 
“Look at the players we have signed; Joe, Michael, Lewis, Dan, Louis, Rob, Max and Olly, all fit the profile. We trying to build a team with players who have a good relationship with the ball but in addition to that, are very mobile. We are talking to one or two others and after that, the squad will settle.” 
The Manager also confirmed a departure. “Jerry O’Sullivan has joined Chipstead. We wish him every success. Jerry is a good player and really good guy. We would have liked him to stay but having spoken to him at length, I understand why he has decided to leave. “When a squad is being rebuilt, players leaving is normal and to some extent, inevitable. We would like to keep everyone, but it’s just not possible.”                                          
“Tuesday night is a game we are looking forward to. We certainly will not be taking Frimley Green lightly. As I said earlier, this is a competition we want to win.”   
The new look Leatherhead face Frimley Green at Fetcham Grove in the Southern Combination Challenge Cup on Tuesday night. Kick-off is at 7:45pm, with the Club providing a special offer of reduced ticket prices of £6.00 for Adults, £4.00 concessions and £3.00 for children.       
Hayden Bird.