New Burgess Hill Town head coach Simon Wormull has had a mixed week of emotions with his team scoring three, conceding six on the road and contributing to a very positive fans forum in the Hillians bar.
Last Saturday afternoon, having rode their luck in the first half, his team produced a Rolls Royce performance smashing three unanswered goals against Merstham.
It had the home army bouncing with excitement. Simon said in his post match interview that it was a huge phycological boost to get out of the relegation zone. You got the feeling that he was very excited about the future and although he didn’t want to give to much away about his mid term vision for the club. After a win there is no place better to be on a Saturday afternoon than in the Green Elephants clubhouse. The place was buzzing.
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On Wednesday evening we all travelled to Fetcham Grove hoping that, as a unit, we could throw off the shackles of a poor three season mid week away record. It was a hope too far as Leatherhead showed what a class act they are at this level.
A goal early in the first half settled any nerves for the hosts who then went on the attack. It wasn’t until Ibrahim Diallo sending off mid way late in the second half, a reckless lunge in the centre circle ref no choice, that the hosts wrapped up three points with two late goals. There wasn’t a lot of public reaction from the Hillians management team after that one but it’s a certainty that both Simon and John were hurting.
On Thursday evening Simon (a keen Liverpool supporter) hosted an excellent Q and A forum in the Hillians Bar.
Club General Manager John Rattle and Chairman Kevin Newell were also in attendance.
We started with the thorny issue of poor midweek results on the road. Simon was very measured in his response saying that some teams at our level have budgets which allow players not to have full time jobs.
This means that it’s easier to get the team prepared for midweek games. He went on: "Its straightforward to get our guys prepared and ready to go on a Saturday but after the game they go back to the everyday lives of work and family and its then harder to get them back up to the same level for a Tuesday game."
We then touched on his playing days at Crawley Town in the Conference which he seemed to enjoy very much.
More recently Simon has completed a Sports Science Degree which he enjoyed, and feels it will be a benefit going forward in his management career. We also spoke about the some of the players in the current squad, Keano Deacon and Ben Pope were singled out as two young players with a lot of potential.
As to our striker Ben Pope, Wormull revealed: "We really like the hard work that Ben puts into every game, however we feel that we need him scoring more ‘poachers’ goals and we are working with him in training sessions." That comment resonated well with the many fans who had attended.
Someone then brought up the subject of a new home facility for the club and it was Newell who fielded the question.
Kevin explained: "There is a lot of work and discussion going on behind the scenes with the local council and things are on the move. We are looking to have a ‘community’ based facility open to all.
"But it's not something that is going to happen overnight and in the coming months we will be asking all Hillian fans to help by campaigning. I think we are going to have to be patient and look out for news later in the season."
Simon summed up that his early tenure here at the Green Elephants as Head Coach (not Manager you note) as a woring progress but he was very excited by the coming months and is keen to take the Hillians well outside the relegation zone come April 27 2019.
Perhaps the complexity of his work in progress became a stark reality on his trip home from Tolworth last evening.
His team suffering another 3-0 deficit against a ‘robust’ Corinthian Casuals outfit.
There were no hiding places for the management team as their players made some crucial mistakes both at the back and in the middle of the park. At the end of the game Simon, John skipper Gary and Chairman Kevin were in deep discussion out in the centre circle for a good half hour. However, Simon did face the media and gave an honest and eloquent summary of what went wrong ‘disappointed with the result and we are falling fail of individual mistakes. For the second goal the guy has got the ball in the middle with three of our guys dangling ankles and he goes on to score.
"We have kind of gifted them the win today". Harsh words from the coach but he concluded: "We are all going to have to work harder the players and myself."
Having shared quite a bit of time in Simon’s company this week (its his birthday December 1, aged 42) I find him a very open, eloquent and honest manager who does have ambition to take the Hillians into the next exciting chapter.
As we have seen over the past three seasons the Bostik Premier is a difficult nut to crack. Perhaps expectations should be comfortable safety this season and then a crack at the play offs next season.
Simon, the fans are with you, good luck over the coming weeks.