Captaincy, FA Cup & Dating – Tuffley Rovers’ Joel White speaks to Severn Sport

This weekend sees the return of the oldest cup competition in English football and one of the most well known tournaments in World football, it is of course the start of the 2018/19 FA Cup.

Severn Sport will be at Glevum Park for Tuffley Rovers vs Colney Heath as the Extra Preliminary round takes place up and down the country. Ahead of which we have spoken to Tuffley Rovers’ new captain, Joel White.

White is most commonly known in local football as ‘Digger’ but he is also known his technical ability and after being converted into a centre half last season, he is now known for being pretty decent at the back too.

After his performances in the Tuffley Rovers back line White was awarded the Manager’s Player Of The Season at the end of season awards. Tuffley manager Mark Pritchett has further rewarded White’s efforts by naming him club captain for the 2018/19 season.

“I’m very proud to be named captain. For Pritch [First team manager Mark Pritchett] to have faith in me to lead the team for the season is a real honour. It wasn’t something I really thought about too much but I was delighted when he had the chat with me.” White told Severn Sport.

“I’ve adapted to the role pretty well I think. We have a good talented and young squad this season so it was a natural thing, being a leader at the back.”

White finds himself captain of a side going through a transitional period after losing a few experienced heads during the summer. Striker Shayne Bradley and ex-captain and goalkeeper Dave Evans both retired whilst Shayne Anson departed Glevum Park for Evesham United. White though backs his young teammates to emulate last season’s 10th placed finish in the Hellenic League Premier.

“We have had the most experienced players leave this summer in Dave [Evans], Shayne [Anson] and Bradders {Shayne Bradley]. That means that the likes of me, Warren [Mann], Carts [Paul Carter] and Macca [Macaulay Herbert] have become the most experienced lads in the squad right now. We are aiming to finish as possible in the table and if can finish higher than our 10th placed finish last season then that will be a successful season.”

White was awarded Manager’s Player of The Year by Mark Pritchett at last season’s end of season awards

White’s reign as Tuffley captain got off to the worst possible start, with an opening day 6-1 defeat away to Royal Wootton Bassett. However, White is looking to learn from the experience and look forward to Saturday’s FA Cup tie.

“Saturday was a bad start for us. We didn’t play anywhere near the standards we know we are capable of and set ourselves. We have to forget about that though and start again as if this FA Cup tie is the first game of the season really. We had a good cup run last year so I don’t see why we can’t do it again.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s cup tie against Colney Heath, White acknowledged how special the occasion will be to lead out his side.

“I’m buzzing for the game on Saturday. I mean to lead the lads out in a FA Cup match is a privilege and it means a lot to me. It’s a massive game for the club so hopefully we can play as well as we did at the end of pre-season and we can progress to the next round.”

Away from football White has recently been in the public eye, as he was put forward for a blind date through Heart Gloucestershire. A young lady was looking for a love with an Olly Murs look-a-like and White found himself out for dinner, despite being late.

We couldn’t let the opportunity pass so we asked him if he could take any of his teammates out on a date who he would pick and where would they go, as well as asking him about the experience.

“The date went really well to be honest. I got a fair bit of stick from the lads but that was to be expected really. Out of the boys I would take Fuzzy [Warren Mann] on a date for a romantic meal as he is ‘wet’ and always out with his missus, so I know he would treat me well!”

You can listen to Tuffley Rovers vs Colney Heath in the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup live on Severn Sport Radio on Saturday afternoon. Kick off is at 15:00