After guiding the team to a sixth successive win yesterday, and scoring a sensational goal against Selsey, captain Joe Shelley spoke to Matt Dale and offered his thoughts on the season so far.
The big, experienced midfielder has been a firm favourite with Horsham supporters and it’s easy to see why with commanding displays in the centre of the pitch in which he has skippered the squad, only losing one match since the start of the season in all competitions. An archetypical box-to-box midfielder, aside from providing assists for Dom Di Paola’s free-scoring side, Shelley scored his eighth goal of the season with his superb long range effort yesterday afternoon. However he remained modest about the stunning strike saying “I was chuffed with the goal, it was one of those when you just have a go, I don’t know if was just luck because I whacked it with my wrong foot but I hit it and I caught it well and it went in”
It certainly went down a treat with the supporters who had made the trip to the seaside and capped an excellent week for Shelley – whose nickname Biff stems from a childhood joke in which his younger brother used to pronounce his name as Joebiff – and he was full of appreciation for the Hornets fans saying “personally I feel I’m getting better as the season has gone on, I’m in a positive frame of mind and hopefully that’s showing in my football”
Revealing on his decision to join Horsham at the beginning of the season he added “I’m really enjoying playing for Horsham, the support at this club is fantastic, and it’s unlike no other club I’ve played for. The fans are loud and really supportive of what we do. Dom asked me over the summer if I wanted to join the club and he sent me the link to the match highlights from the end of season game against Tooting and Mitcham last season – it was just incredible to see these fans dressed up as Elvis and despite the poor result on the pitch, I was sold by the fact these guys were so enthusiastic and supportive”
Shelley has played his part in banishing to the past disappointing results like that 5-0 reverse at Tooting, when he was awarded man of the match by Roger Harris for his performance in the 7-0 thrashing of Hailsham Town on Wednesday evening, but he was keen to deflect the praise onto the team as a whole “we’ve definitely clicked. At the beginning of the season there were a few new faces and we needed a bit of time to gel and work out each other’s game but there’s a great understanding with the lads. A lot of us know each other and go way back, we’re all really good mates off the pitch and so we know each other really well”
Shelley was also keen to praise his manager for getting the best out of the squad saying “I’ve got lots of respect for Dom, everyone knows we go way back and I’ve played for him for a long time. He knows what he wants from you as a player and all the squad get on really well with him and he demands 110% from everyone. There’s a lot of mutual respect with everyone, we’ve got a great squad here and hopefully we can put this club back where they belong”