The Tuesday Interview with Tommy Warrilow
The Tuesday Interview with Tommy Warrilow

Tommy Warrilow started the season not knowing what the future held for Thamesmead Town ground-sharing with Dartford. 

Now almost three quarters of the way through the season, Warrilow is on verge of taking one of clubs whose colours he graced as a player to promotion to the Premier Division of the BOSTIK League.

Having taken over at Ashford United following the Mead’s untimely folding in the opening weeks of the season, Warrilow and his assistant Alex O’Brien are on the verge of bringing Premier Division football back to Ashford for the first time since the old “Town” folded.

Going into the weekend, the Nuts and Bolts were thirteen points behind leaders Cray Wanderers after a run of just one defeat in his twelve games since taking over has taken Ashford into second.  But as the leaders were easing to a 3-0 win over Guernsey to extend their lead to sixteen points, Ashford didn’t have a League game – a fact that hasn’t gone down too well with Warrilow.

“It’s been a nightmare this year,” admitted the Ashford boss.  “With no midweek games really – you can count the ones that you’ve had on one hand all teams will say that – and we had no games on the Saturday over Christmas too – Saturday 22nd no game; Saturday 29th no game – and I think that might have been pivotal to us losing the way we did to Hastings where we hadn’t had a great deal of football, and now we haven’t played this weekend either.”

“To keep things going we’ve arranged a couple of friendlies – we went to Welling Town on Saturday and then we’ve got Folkestone midweek just to keep things ticking over.  It’ll give everyone minutes who haven’t been playing regularly and I just hope that we don’t pick any injuries up but then again people will say to me that you cant have the best of both worlds but the boys needed and need games and we need to tick over and hopefully it’ll suit everyone but it is so frustrating not having a League game given where we are in the table.”

“We got a winning run reasonably quickly as it was well documented the run they were on before we came in and all we could do would was to deal with the teams that were put in front of us and so far, we’ve done that!  The lads have bought into that and are have started to play and are aware of their tasks when we haven’t got the ball and we’re getting everyone fit!  So, the squad is stronger, and I’m really pleased that the crowd and the staff and everyone at the club for rising to the challenge.”

“All we can do as a manager is to chase what’s in front of you and Cray winning Saturday means we’re sixteen points behind.  They’ve had a fantastic season – I cannot influence or do anything with Cray’s team performances but I’m fully aware and respect all the clubs who are chasing us and so as a manager you set yourself targets and our target now must still be Cray as they’re above us.  But we’re running out of games – we’ve got twelve game left and there’s a big margin of gaps, but it still won’t stop us from trying to sustain and maintain the form we’ve hit now and if we can do that then we can’t do anything else!”

With many of the sides around them still to play Warrilow said, “I looked at the fixtures when I first arrived at the club and my first though was that if we were in the Play Offs then destiny would be in our hands as we play everyone, so I’ve not phased or bothered by it or having to rely on others.  We’ve got to make sure that we continue our form during February and into March as you’ve always got to remember that there’s nearly always someone coming through out of the pack towards the end.  Its not just Cray but I’m aware of all clubs from mid table onwards as there’s still enough points with everyone playing everyone else for anyone still to make the Play Offs.”

Ashford return to BOSTIK League action on Saturday with a trip to Herne Bay.