Woodley United’s manager Michael Herbert on the historic season ahead

SHARE

FIND US ON

Woodley United manager Michael Herbert. Photo: Neil Graham.

POST

When Michael Herbert and his management team swept in to Woodley United this time last season you’d have been forgiven for keeping expectations in check especially as the side finished bottom of the division at the end of 2015/16.

The young manager though quietly went about his business and guided an exciting to watch Woodley side to second place and promotion in the Hellenic League Division 1 East and cup glory in the Berks & Bucks County Intermediate Trophy.

The Kestrels were unbeaten for their first seven league games of the season and were real challengers to eventual division champions Penn & Tylers Green.

We caught up with Michael ahead of what will be a historic first ever season for Woodley at step 5.

Congratulations on last seasons success. How is planning going for life in the Premier Division?

Thank you very much. It is going well, we have been back in pre season a few weeks and the players are looking fit and sharp.

Looking back on last season, did you expect to be in this position this time last year?

We thought we would compete but it was difficult to say as we were a brand new team. We managed to get the balance right with the players we brought in. Hopefully we can do the same this season.

Woodley United celebrate promotion in the dressing room. Photo: @woodleyunitedfc
Woodley United celebrate promotion in the dressing room. Photo: @woodleyunitedfc

How big of a step up do you think it will be to the Premier? What steps have you taken so far?

It will be massive. Little old Woodley united in the premier is not something that’s really sunk in yet. Both Wokingham & Emmbrook and Henley Town were relegated straight back down so we know how difficult it will be. We will be favourites to finish bottom but we enjoy that. We are excited by the challenge. We have got the players in early for pre season to increase fitness but also organisation and team ethic. Team spirit was a big part of our makeup last season so we want that to continue.

Has anyone given you any bits of advice on the challenge ahead?

Yeah, I’m good friends with Alex Pearce at Derby county and he is given me some good advice. Also my management team are all experienced coaches/players so we know the direction we want to head in.

Which teams are you most looking forward to facing next season and which grounds are you keen to visit?

Woodley United played Premier Division Ardley United in the cup in 2016/17. Photo: Mark Pugh.
Woodley United played Premier Division Ardley United in the cup in 2016/17. Photo: Mark Pugh.

We are looking forward to playing against all the clubs but the ties that stand out are the teams you expect to be at the top of the table. Thatcham, Bracknell and Flackwell normally have the biggest budgets and the best players so we are looking forward to those games. Also Binfield are a top club in the area. Roger has done a great job in his time there so we are looking forward to pitting our wits against him and his team.

And finally, I asked Kieran this question but any particular player you ]have high hopes for next season?

I don’t like to talk about individual players too much. We have some very talented players but they are all as important as each other. We like to work as a team rather than individuals and this has played a part in the success we have enjoyed so far this season.

We’ve setup a new WhatsApp group allowing you to debate the local football issues with like minded individuals. You can find out how to join it here.

Related Topics
Football in Berkshire is a not for profit site run by volunteers. We feel though that sometimes people need rewarding for the hard work they put in and we wanted to let you know you can support our contributors individually if you so wish. Contributors to this article are as follows:
More Stories
Comment

1 thought on “Woodley United’s manager Michael Herbert on the historic season ahead”

  1. Pingback: Woodley United confirm the return of two key men for 2017/18 - Football in Bracknell

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More Stories

Our Supporters

Features

Search Football in Berkshire
FIB-Badgetransparent-dud.png