Miles: We've taken the club as far as we felt it could go (EXCLUSIVE)

Monday 20th March 2006

Slade Green joint-manager Phil Miles has tonight revealed EXCLUSIVELY to that he and Terry Malin have “taken the club as far as they could go,” and after “resigning in October,” will be leaving the Small Glen club at the end of the season, writes Stephen McCartney.


Miles cited he was always “frustrated” as the Kentish Observer League club is a breeding ground for players to get themselves in the shop window before being snapped up by other clubs, who are able to offer them financial incentives.

The 37-year-old from Hornchurch, Essex, explained his reasons why Slade Green will be looking for a new management team in the summer. 

“We had resigned back in October,” he revealed.  “Basically we’ve just taken the club as far as we felt it could go.

”Even now, some six months down the line, it’s still in the same position.”

Miles and Malin, meanwhile, will be hoping their five-year stint with the club will put them in good stead for a new challenge – but Miles is willing to wait for his next footballing post.

”Jobs at any standard aren’t easy to come by,” admitted Miles.  “But at the end of the day we have got a lot to offer and it’s just getting a chance somewhere else.

”Terry and I went there together so we’d leave there together.  We’ve been there five years, obviously Terry’s had a little bit of time off during that time, but we’ve done quite well.”

Whoever comes in at the helm during the summer will probably have to start from scratch as the vultures will be prising away the club’s talented youngsters.

”It’s very difficult, every pre-season we start with a new team, bar one or two,” warned Miles.

”Players have all been plucked from not really playing anywhere to be moved to a better side in the league.  Obviously some have gone on further than that, which is brilliant and that’s what Slade Green is really about.”

What can Slade Green offer their replacement?  “There’s a question!” replied Miles.  “Without sounding too rude, not a lot really.

”But it gives you a start and an opportunity to manage at a decent level.

”It’s a hard job, let me tell you, there is nobody contrary to what everybody says, Slade Green are the only team that pay nothing.
“But at the end of the day we were quite fortunate because we’ve got a pool of players that bring other players to the football club.

”People see us as a chance to play football and prove themselves and put themselves back in the shop window and other clubs offer them around £50.  But we can’t do that, hence why we start every season with a new side.”

Miles, meanwhile, doesn’t have any gripes with the hard working committee at the club, and they must be the only club in Kent League football that doesn’t make a financial loss.
“It’s certainly challenging and very frustrating and that’s nothing against the people that run the football club,” he said.
“They work hard for the club to keep them going and their hearts are in the club.
“Their not blessed with loads of money so to be fair they’ve shown their backing to us. We didn’t have a reserve side, they always had one team, but this season the reserve side, that originated from a youth team, will finish well placed.”

He added: “Maybe Slade Green have got the right idea?  It’s a constant battle without money and we’ve taken it as far as we can.  Maybe it needs fresh ideas to take it forward – if it wants to go forward.”

Slade Green players won’t be shocked reading this article, as Miles and Malin told them about their resignations in October.
“We’re open and quite frank.  We’ve got nothing to hide,” he insisted.  “We may well walk out at the end of the season and there might be an opportunity but any job in that league is hard to come by – a lot of it is who you know.”

What has pleased Miles though, is his side are always capable of springing a scalp against the division’s big boys.
“We’ve got no gripes, we’ve had a lot of good players there and they’ve gone on to bigger and better things,” he said.
“We’ve been more than a match for those top sides.  We need that little bit extra that we haven’t got but money buys you that little bit of quality.
“Money is the route of all evil,” he added.  “It’s nice if you’ve got it but then you have to spend it.  90% of the Kent League pay money but what have they got out of it?
“Terry and myself have put in five years of hard work, and we’ve been fairly successful with the players we’ve produced.”
Two of them, wingers Ryan Hayes and Dave Martin are gracing the Southern League with Dartford and are two very exciting, young players, that were natured by Miles, Malin and the coaching staff at the Green.

”Peter Little was a great coach before he went to Erith Town and the players have always been coached the right way – certainly Ryan and Dave.
“They’ve got natural pace and bags of skill and under Tony Burman and Paul Sawyer, I would hope, if their attitudes are right, they will go on leaps and bounds.”

After making their intentions known earlier in the season, Miles admitted he was disappointed that the club haven’t discussed the matter further.
“We resigned back in October and that’s the last we’ve heard of it,” he said.  “We did say we’d continue until the end of the season but it’s all been left and we’ve carried on.  There’s been no committee meeting.

”There will always be somebody out there that wants to manage Slade Green Football Club,” Miles said.  “That’s great, but at least they’ll have a chance to do it but it’s a bloody hard job – I can tell you that now!
“There’s been times where we’ve had our fair share of rows with the committee.  But it will be a boring life if people didn’t have opinions on the game but our opinion is we did it the best way we could.”
Miles did, however, persuade managers that manage at reserve team or Kent County League level to update and post their CV’s off to DA8 2ND.
“We’ve got good reserve team managers, Wayne Baldacchino and Ray Bagnell who have brought some fantastic young players to the football so like I say, people will want a chance,” he said.

“Reserve team managers would want a chance to manage at first team level, managers in the Kent County League will want to manage at the next level and they’ll bring players with them.”

At the time of writing, Slade Green are comfortably sitting in tenth place (of a sixteen team league) with a playing record of 8 wins, 7 draws, 10 defeats, scoring 27 goals, conceding 41, with 31 points – with five games to go.