Southall FC were formed in 1871 and have spent there long history in the Athenian, Isthmian and recently the Spartan and Combined Counties leagues. They were based at Western Road in Southall till 1992 and have been nomadic since then currently ground sharing with Ashford Town but have plans to return to Southall within the next few years. Under Gordon Bartlett in the 1980’s, Southall made the final of the FA Vase. But under current manager Max Howell, Southall have a bright future ahead of them.
You were sitting in 5th when the season finished for COVID-19, do you think you would have finished higher if the season had finished?
We’d like to think so as we had up to 4 games in hand on the teams around us and most of them still to play.
How long have you been at the club?
I think it’s 5 years now with the club, as a player then a coach.. This is my third season as manager.
What are your targets for the season?
Firstly to complete the season with everything going on.. But from a personal and the clubs point of view is to continue progressing both on and off the pitch..
What type of football do you like your side to play?
Effective football.. most games/teams are different and will have different strengths/weaknesses.. it’s up to us to adapt and find a way to win..
What positions are you looking to bolster this summer?
We’ve worked hard over the summer to keep the group from last season together.. We’ve got 16 of the squad signed on and we’ll be looking to add 3 or 4 new faces to the group.
Who do you think will be strong in the league this season?
If you look at the way things were playing out last season I’d say pretty much the same sides will be there or thereabouts.. Also sides that maybe didn’t have great seasons will be looking to have a go this year.
Any news on your pre season friendlie’s?
We’re doing lots of work on the training ground which helps having kept last years group together so not as many friendlies as we’d usually have.. We do play
North Greenford – 8th August
Broadfields – 10th August
Ashford town – 15th August in the Ashford Bowl, which is similar to charity shield.
Cockfosters – 22nd August
We do still have some dates available if anyone needs a friendly contact me on here and we’ll get something sorted.
Is Aaron McLeish returning for the next season? Have you set him any targets?
Yeah Aaron’s in.. just need to get him up to speed and firing.. He sets his own targets in terms of goals.. all the players know our minimum expectations of them they are the same throughout the group.
Are there any Player/Players at Southall who we should be looking out for?
Yeah theres Peter Dean.. Hes 34 about 5ft 8” A wig that’s going grey and a scruffy beard, looks like he sleeps in a hedge. Was last seen leaving the training ground 2 weeks ago and hasn’t been seen since. So if any sees him get him to contact me.
Will you be Using other local clubs, to bring in young experienced players?
To be honest we’ve got a settled group of about 20 who know how we do things and the standards we expect, obviously in an emergency or if we’re short in a certain area it’s something we’ll look into.
Do you think the FA were right to void all leagues below Step 2?
My personal opinion is yes.. speaking from our point of view we had 12 games to play.. most of those at home to the sides in and around us.. It’s the business end of the season anything can happen with added pressure and a loaded fixture list towards the back end of the season.. look at Aston Villa in the prem everyone wrote them off.. they got the chance to play on.. a moody goal line decision and a couple of decent results managed to stay up.. Obviously you feel for a side like jersey bulls who were that good the job was already done.. Maybe something could have been done there.
How will non league have changed due to COVID-19?
I honestly don’t think we’ll know the full extent until we’re back playing.. It’s all twitter talk and opinions at the minute.
What opposition are you looking forward to/ looking to avoid this season?
We’re just looking forward to getting back playing and winning football matches.
What club do you support
I Look out for Luton’s results still.. good to see them stay up!
Best moment in management
I can’t sit here and say one thing or moment.. there’s been many goals, results, coach journeys, misdemeanours!
How has your coaching adapted over time?
Getting to know the players has helped.. some of the boys have been with me from the day I came in.. over that time you learn and get to know them as people.. what makes them tick etc.. something you don’t always get particularly in non league.
What manager/coach do you admire the most?
I wouldn’t say I look up to or admire any one manager or club.. I try and use my experiences as a player and limited experience as a manager, then I might see an idea or read something I find useful.. Also I’m fortunate to have good people around me in the game when needed which is important.
What are the clubs plans 3-5 years
Sanjeev Sharma- To continue to grow as a football club both on and off the pitch, Create new history and get the club back where it belongs – In Southall and give the supporters a ground and team to be proud of.
We are working with the council on a site with us hoping we can move back to the Southall community for the first time since 1992 It’s our highest priority off the field and would love to return in time for our 150th anniversary in 2021. The stadium would be a 3g pitch, with a club house and other pitches for community use. The area hasn’t been touched in terms of football for nearly 3 decades and while other professional clubs have a community project they don’t have a stadium there. It’s a massive market that we hope to build on. Generations have missed out on local football.
For our 150th anniversary, we are looking to get some of the 1986 squad back together for a celebration and have a game to coincide with this momentous occasion.
Who do you think will win the league this year?
For me it’s wide open.. Sutton, Abbey, Ascot, Spelthorne all had a good season last year.. Guildford are capable.. Knaphill under the new managers will be strong..
so we’ll see…