There’s been a familiar face on the bench during Binfield’s FA Vase run in the shape of former manager Roger Herridge who’s been assisting Carl Withers and Jamie McClurg.
It’s been a role reversal for Herridge who managed the side until the summer of 2020 and had Withers as his assistant, and while the former boss was looking forward to ‘a few more holidays’ he couldn’t resist when the call came.
“I was very happy to come back and help,” he says.
“I’d said to my partner on a horrible midweek night that I really wasn’t missing those game, and two days later Jamie is on the phone to me.
“I think Geoff Warner was due to miss a couple of games and they asked if I could step in. So down we went to Newhaven in the FA Vase and then a couple of days later it’s another lockdown and its all over!”
Herridge though has continued in his role since the Vase returned in April and has been there to support Withers on the bench while McClurg continues to combined management with his playing duties in the centre of midfield.
Read more: Binfield FC in the FA Vase
And the former Moles boss is full of praise for the two men who succeeded him in the Hill Farm Lane dugout: “I’ve always thought what we were building at this club was special. We’ve had a special group, but I’ve never shied away from Dodds [McClurg] and Carl’s influence even when I was the boss.
“They’ve brought professionalism and know-how and built an incredible team spirit. They had a tough introduction with the curtailed season, keeping the group together and motivated but they’ve done it.”
Could Herridge see the success the team has had in the last few weeks though? He’s certain at least that the parts were all there: “You could see they were doing well during the season, you could see the potential.
“In all my playing days though, and throughout my coaching I’ve not seen a group with this kind of spirit.
“Added to that they train with the same intensity they play, not all teams can do that. They returned after lockdown three and trained with that intensity.
“Just look at the quality on the bench as well.”
Saturday marks the biggest game in the club’s history and Herridge is pragmatic about Binfield’s chances: “We can’t underestimate US Portsmouth but we’ve just got to go out there and do our thing.
“People will look at the score at Long Eaton but we certainly didn’t blow them away as the score suggests, that first 20 minutes was tight but the quality of our squad took care of the result.
“If we can take that in to Saturday then we have every chance.”