Next up in our series of interviews, is North west London side Edgware Town and their manager Rak Hudson. Rak was appointed by the club in November 2020, just before the season was curtailed again by Covid-19. The club was moved divisions this summer as well now playing in the Combined counties premier division.
How has pre season been for you so far?
It’s been alright, up and down, with some good and bad results. One very poor performance in pre-season but we learnt a lot from that.
The season starts in just over a week. Are you looking forward to getting the season underway?
We are looking forward to it. It’s been frustrating not playing competitive games. We have had a lot of friendlies since April. It’s not been ideal, but it’s given us time to prepare for the season ahead.
Are you looking forward to having home fans for your game against FA Cup game this weekend?
It will be indeed, we welcome Hadley this weekend and we hope for a good ground. We always attract some groundhoppers and with no premier league games, this should help. We start our league campaign next weekend and hopefully this is well attended as SJP our home ground has been a bit of a fortress for us in pre season, with us winning 3 of these and scoring 15 goals.
Are you still looking for some last minute signings or is the team complete?
We have quite a settled squad, but it is a mostly brand new side from last season. We are not looking for any new signings.
Any new signing/outgoing since last season?
We have 10 new signings since last season, so its a brand new side for this season.
Michael Anguzu GK
Kleon James RB
Mohamed Kahdum W
Rafaelle Kaphouris LB
Liam Magwood LB
Robert Magwood CB
Perry Price W
Novell Sony-Bruce CM
Adrian Okoro CB/CM
Anthony Atilola W
New coaching staff
Simon Maja GK
Have you made any changes to your coaching team in the close season?
A few changes here, but we have bought in a few new coaches. New GK coach and a new coach as well. Two key additions.
New coaching staff
Simon Maja GK
Has a full pre-season helped with developing your ideas and structure on the team?
Pre-season has been good, we have been lucky that none of these have been called off, so we have been able to have good schedule of games and work together as a team. It’s a work in progress, but the last 6 weeks have been good.
Does the home ground and facilities help when recruiting new players?
The facilities at SJP are very attractive to a player at step 5, with a good training facility for them. The pitch as well allows for good football. Our location as well helps to attract players in the local area as well.
What is the club’s target for this season?
We are aiming for mid-table as a good stepping stone for us a team, but as a management team we want to finish higher than that.
Do you think/hope the season will be completed this time? What do you make of the league front loading fixtures?
We are desperate like other clubs to finish a season, the club itself hasn’t had a finished season for 2 years now and non league football needs it. I think the more the games the merrier and it helps if anything happens for us to have played more games.
Who do you think will be the hardest team to take on in the division given the sideways moves?
Hardest team-Spelthorne and St. Panteleimon F.C from my knowledge. Its hard to predict for me who will win the title as i dont know the league that much.
What is the target for the club in the short/medium term
I think in the short term, it is to stabilize the team in this league. The club is ambitious and wants to progress to step 4 within the next few years, but a lot has to go behind the scenes for that to happen on the pitch.
What is your aim while managing Edgware town?
I wouldn’t be happy with the club finishing mid table this year, but wouldn’t accept it the next year, i want to progress each season on and off the pitch. We know we have to build a team and we have to look to push on each season. Next season we would like to be challenging at the top end.
What are the biggest issues facing non league and your respective club?
Finances are a big part. We need to attract more people to non league football and grab some of the disenfranchised fans.
Do you think covid will bring more people into watching non league games?
I do think some people who wouldn’t have considered it, a certain percentage will come to non league. But there has to be a shift elsewhere to tell people about non league football and for clubs to do more to bring in new fans.