A View From The Oppo – Hartley Wintney

Ahead of our league fixture away at Hartley Wintney this weekend, the View From The Oppo comes from none other than the Hartley chairman himself, Luke Mullen.

Tell us about yourself?
I came to Hartley as a player over 30 years ago and haven’t left!  I think I’ve just about covered every role in the Club during that time and now hold the title of the scruffiest Chairman in the League because it’s all about the football, not the jacket and tie for me. 

What were your aims at the start of the season and have they changed after the first two months?
For me it’s only ever about keeping the football going and anything above the relegation zone would be good.  The Manager would say top half of the table and the captain would say the play off places.

You’ve had a bit of a blip recently in terms of results and going to Yate and losing in injury time must have been hard to take, how do you see the first few weeks of the season from a Hartley perspective?
The Yate game was very tough for everyone and would be for any team for that to happen in the dying minutes. That 90 mins has gone, we move on. It’s been disappointing and we’ve underperformed but its still early in the season.

There’s a lot of respect for what Hartley have done, with back to back promotions and comfortably staying up last season in the top half.  Do you think the club can kick on to go even higher within the next 2-3 seasons?
We’re still looking to consolidate at this level – success on the pitch is not always easy to match off the pitch as we are all volunteers with day jobs. The rise has been great journey, unforgettable, but football at this level behind the scenes can be a day job on its own! Never say never though, we’ve done it before!

Which of your players are you most excited about this season?
Lots of young talent at Hartley – Rule, Abubakar, Wylie, Paget. One of them has come up through the ranks from Youth football so its always satisfying to see the results of years of hard work pay off. 

What away day are you looking forward to most?
Truro – making the most of a long distance journey by making a weekend away of it!

We nicked it 4-3 in the same fixture last season, how do you see the game going this weekend?
Really tough encounter with your recent impressive form and our recent lacklustre performances of late.

For anyone that hasn’t been, what can the travelling fans expect from the Memorial Playing Fields?
A warm welcome, a delicious Row Burger, well stocked bar, no airs and graces – it’s about the football.

Score prediction?
2-1 Hartley

Tip for the title?
Our friends at Tiverton

Favourite crisps?
Walkers Worcester Sauce