It's too easy to forget the rise of our club this season, says Welling Town manager Danny Wakeling

Saturday 30th November 2019

WELLING TOWN manager Danny Wakeling says his side are relishing the underdog tag for their FA Vase tie at Chatham Town this afternoon.


The Boots are in sixth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 25 points from their first 14 league games at this level.

Chatham Town are in second-place in the table with 34 points from their 18 league games, five points adrift of the leaders Beckenham Town, whom have three games in hand.

The Boots went down to only their 13th league defeat in their short history when they lost 2-1 at struggling Punjab United last Saturday.

“We’ve already put last weeks loss away to Punjab to bed. It was needed as a noticeable curve and spot in our overall development as otherwise, it’s too easy to forget the rise of our club this season,” said Wakeling.

“We are playing the highest level in our short history and we are also playing very, very well too and more than holding our own as well as probably upsetting a few so-called ‘experts’ (and I use that phrase lightly of course) along the way who has us down as relegation fodder and seemingly wanted us to fail as well.

“Thanks for that though kids - you have done the bulk of my team talks this season so silver linings and all of that - cheers!

“We didn’t play badly last week but we didn’t play with our usual levels of intent and desire and Punjab deserved what they got on the day so no complaints from me at all.”

Wakeling has signed defender Ryan Mahal from Isthmian League South East Division side VCD Athletic, while Jesse Mansaray and Tobi Ademiju have also signed on the dotted line to join the Bayliss Avenue based club.

Wakeling said: “We moved on fast and freshened up the squad as well as we had a couple of players who seemed to struggle with punctuality etc and we have brought in defender Ryan Mahal from VCD Athletic, Jesse Mansaray from Tooting and Mitcham United under 23s, who has had spells at Watford and Forest Green Rovers as well as Tobi Ademiju who has been on the books of Southampton.

“Ryan will add good experience and will hit the ground running and the other two lads will add pace, hunger and fearlessness in wider areas as well as pace and the freshness of youth.

“I’m excited by them all to be honest and they all slipped into training on Thursday seamlessly in what was a fun and light hearted session.”

Scott Lindsey’s Chatham Town side, meanwhile, are much-fancied to go far in The FA Vase this season and Welling Town travel to Maidstone Road today as clear underdogs.

“We go into the game against Chatham with a free hit,” admits Wakeling.

“No one expects us to touch the ball let alone get a result and that suits us just fine.

“We will embrace the underdog role and crack on with it today with absolute relish.

“I’ve had calls from people this week saying “stop this one, stop that one and you might get something on the day” but you know what? We’ve had them watched so I’d like to think they’ve done the same and how about they have to think “let’s stop Adam O’Neill,” who I believe is the best number 10 in this league. He’s on fire at the moment and the lads trust him so much.

“You can see it in our play. We are really believing we can perform at this level and we feel we can continue to do so and today at Chatham is an excellent opportunity to see and show who we are and what we are about.

“We have no fear at all. No pressure whatsoever. You could see the freedom pouring out of our lads at training on Thursday and I feel it’ll just continue into the game today.

“We are looking forward to it immensely. We want to be here and we shall continue to show our personal pride and prove it to ourselves- no one else - ourselves - each and every week and most certainly today.”

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Chatham Town  v  Welling Town
The Buildbase FA Vase Third Round
Saturday 30 November 2019
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Maidstone Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 6LR