“I am going to go with a 2-1 Concord win on Saturday”
Concord Rangers club photographer Paul Raffety took time out to discuss the team from Canvey Island before Saturday’s NLS clash at the Aspect Arena:
Hi Paul thanks for answering my call this week, before we crack on with questions on the club – tell us a bit about yourself and how long have you been involved with Rangers?
I started following Concord properly this season when I took on the job as club photographer.
How would you summarise your season so far, has it lived up to your pre-season expectations and what have been your highlights/lowlights?
With the new manager (Sammy Moore) coming in and the club wanting to refresh things, I think mid-table would have been ok, but with the team that they built and the start we had to the season a play-off push would have been achievable. A real low for us would have been the 5-0 home defeat to Welling and a real high would have been the away win at Welling.
How disappointing was it to suffer a 3-points deduction and remind us what happened?
Obviously very disappointing to be deducted points, as where we sit in the table as we speak we could do with them. It came about from an admin error. We played a loanee in a mid-week game but his loan had expired.
Who are the key players we should look out for this Saturday and why?
Alex Wall has been a huge player upfront for us but picked up an injury at Hampton on Saturday. Connor Essem is class at the back for us, comes with a lot of experience and a calm head.
Have you got the right man in charge and what tactics does he employ?
We have the right management team in charge for sure as much as it’s Sammy who is named manager – the team behind him with mids, daz, scopsey and drewy is quality!
You are still very much in contention for the play-offs; can the Beach Boys achieve promotion this season and could the club cope with a step up to the NL?
Yeah I feel we are still in the hunt and being around the players as I am, they think that also. As for being ready for the NL who knows we are a small club, with a small budget!
What’s the Aspect Arena like for travelling supporters and how well is the club supported locally?
Concord is a far cry from some of the big boys in this league, the club has grown very fast over recent years and there is only so much you can do to a small ground. It’s home for us at Concord but there plenty of teams that hate coming to us. As for local support, although we are the bigger of the two clubs of the Island we do struggle with support, but so does ‘the other club’.
Where’s best for the Yellow Army to buy pre-match food and drinks?
The bar at the club is good, it’s on the inside of the turnstiles. Also Canvey is a small place but there are several pubs on the lead-up into the ground.
United have put in two solid displays in recent weeks, but will be wary of slipping up at Rangers – what’s your match prediction for Saturday afternoon?
I am going to go with a 2-1 Concord win on Saturday, but putting that aside it’s good to see our small club playing against the likes of Torquay. Cheers Paul for both the answers and the photos, nothing else than a win will do for us and I’m sure that will make for an entertaining game – Dom
*Photos courtesy of Paul Raffety