Forest Hill Park manager Darrell Queeley takes great solace after suffering his biggest ever defeat in football

Sunday 18th July 2021

DARRELL QUEELEY says he is searching for improvement from his Forest Hill Park side after suffering a 7-0 pre-season defeat at Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Erith Town yesterday.

The match was played on Coney Hall Recreation Ground and the Dockers' goals were scored by Fred Obasa (2), Michael Power (2), Harry Gamble, Jude Jeffries and Alfie Eldridge.

Power's second goal in the 80th minute - and the sixth goal of the game - was scored from the half-way line, which compounded Queeley's misery.

“Yesterday, I took my biggest ever defeat in football,” Queeley said on his Twitter account.

“I have since conceded even more. I have tried to change my coaching style, giving less information pre-match and less coaching during games, in the hope the players can take more ownership.

“I have been feeling I am working harder than the players. I am running the back line, dictating midfield, directing forward movement, also constructing the defensive shape and controlling the press.  This is not through want, it’s through necessity.

“After a long post-match chat, I have taken great solace. I have accepted the players that come to the club I manage and love, have ability but don’t know the game.

“With the limited time I have I am right to coach at training, before matches, during matches and after. 

“I cannot compare myself to coaches with experienced or better players, coaches with budgets standing there folding their arms and saying ‘well done.’

“Many players have played under me and when they push on, they never come back as they have had the coaching and development and now understand the game."

The London Borough of Lewisham has a reputation of producing young talented players who go on to play professional football - but the pitch at the Ladywell Arena is not suitable for playing a nice brand of football on it and needs vast investment to entice suitable players to learn their trade in the tenth-tier of English football while playing for Forest Hill Park and Lewisham Borough.

Queeley added:  “I love working in my community, helping young players. It’s tough. All the best local players are off playing outside the community.

“All good local coaches and football people are off helping to build clubs outside of their own community.

“That’s all I have to say about that.”

Forest Hill Park have one last remaining warm-up game – away to Sittingbourne-based Borden Village next Saturday.

The club are without a Southern Counties East Football League First Division game on the opening day of the season (Saturday 31 July).

They kick-off their league campaign with a trip to newly-promoted side Larkfield & New Hythe on Saturday 7 August 2021 (15:00).

Queeley guided Forest Hill Park to the London Senior Trophy Final but lost 2-1 to their league rivals FC Elmstead on Saturday 29 May 2021.