Binfield’s former manager Roger Herridge is no stranger to a cup final even though his record with the Moles was never quite as strong as he’d have liked.
“Seven cup finals in five seasons, one win!” he says.
It’s something that I almost always bring up with him when I speak to him, partly as a mischief, but this time because one, in particular, is where I first became familiar with a trio of players that have become embedded in the club’s recent successes.
Current Moles Jemel Johnson, Jack Broome, Liam Ferdinand and Josh Howell all featured for Herridge’s team on the night but it was the Henley trio of Sean Moore, Asa Povey and Jack Thomson-Wheeler who caught the eye as the Red Kites caused an upset to lift the 2015/16 Reading Senior Cup 5-3 at the Madejski Stadium.
Speaking about how the three came to join Binfield in the subsequent seasons, Herridge explained Moore had been on his radar since the two sides had met previously in the Hellenic League Challenge Cup.
He said: “Sean was the best player on the pitch by a mule that day, I was assistant to Mark Tallentire at the time, but our match reporter Colin Byers said something similar in his report.
“Ferdi knew him and had just joined us, he came and saw us one Saturday and I made contact in pre season. I don’t think he’d been playing for anyone when he joined us and he’s just gone on to prove me and Colin right!”
On Povey, who is sadly missing the Vase run through injury, Herridge’s awareness of the pacey forward goes back much further.
“I’d always been aware of Asa. I knew his dad Lee from school. We signed Asa after that final and got him playing but he got injured. I think he had work commitments and drifted away.
“I always kept in touch with Lee though and kept working on him.
“When Carl Withers joined as my assistant in the summer of 2019 I kept saying ‘Asa’s coming’, and when we did get him back, well, we’ve all seen what he can do.
“It’s heartbreaking he’s not playing at the moment.”
As for Thomson-Wheeler, he and Povey had been friends for years and as Asa’s dad Lee says to FiB: “Asa and Jack have played together since they were 7 and even went to nursery together which is where they first met.”
Herridge says: “Thommo, in his younger days he was at the Pro Direct Academy and he’d actually played up front for Ascot United. He signed for Flackwell Heath after Henley but at whatever point he messaged me to see if I would be interested in having him at Binfield.
“The Heath lot at the time were big practical jokers and I thought it was a joke he’d been put up to. As it was I was only to pleased to be able to bring him to Binfield.”
Herridge has always been well known for bringing through young players, whether it was at Wokingham & Emmbrook or when he took over at Binfield, and it’s something he believes is vital part of management at this level: “Over the years I’ve had the time to be able to manager Binfield and get out and watch games and players. It’s so important to do that as a manager, there’s some real hidden gems out there down the leagues.
“You get players recommended to you all the time as a manager so its important to get out there and watch them!”
As for Roger, given I’ve yet again brought up his cup record in public, it’s only fair I leave you with this: