Interview with Arron Hopkinson

Interview with Arron Hopkinson

By Billy Wood
18 January
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We discuss the challenges and rumours of investment from a certain Premier League defender!

How have you found being the First Team Manager at Eastbourne United?

It’s been tough but enjoyable. It was and still is a massive task to take on but the lads have been great and the support I’ve had from the fans, committee and chairman has been excellent. We’ve had a fairly good start but have a long way to go!

Have the club supported you with your recruitment?

I’ve run through things with the relevant people at the club before bringing people in. The budget hasn’t increased from what it was back in October/November last year and in all fairness I’ve had to heavily negotiate to get us working within the budget. The club have been very supportive and have tried to accommodate players I’ve targeted, some we haven’t been able to afford but some we thankfully have!

With recruitment what have you found tough taking over mid season?

I had assess the squad at the start and we needed to freshen it up. Without additions we would have probably got relegated if I’m totally honest. Most decent players in the league are playing and scoring for their respective clubs so it’s hard to take a player away from that. I have used my relationships I’ve got with other clubs and certain players which has made life easier bringing people to the club.

Whilst the club have picked up points since your appointment, with the club still bottom of the league how do you feel about the chances of survival?

It’s important we all don’t get carried away, yes we’ve improved, yes we’ve picked up a few wins now, we are still bottom of the league and we must all keep our feet on the ground. I reminded the players every week they cannot take their foot of the pedal. With the current squad if they keep working hard and applying themselves as they have then I have no doubts that we’ll be in this division next season.

It’s been rumoured since your arrival Lewis Dunk has invested into the club, can you shed light on this rumour?

Haha! Something I’ve heard myself which is totally untrue. Lewis is a good friend of mine, he has never put a penny into the club and I would never ask him too! This club has made some extremely important changes behind the scenes which will benefit the club for years to come, without Lewis Dunk's money.

More rumours have also circulated that the budget is double of your predecessor, is this true or has your recruitment had to be tailored to set into a budget presented by the club?

Another rumour which is nonsense. People see the type of player we’ve brought in and make assumptions. I’ve had to utilise the money better than what it was beforehand I’ll be honest I’d be surprised if the budget was within the top 10-12 sides in this league. I’ve managed to sign players on the basis of a good relationship and somewhere where they can come and enjoy their football. Jason has been a great help in encouraging players also as they know they will be coming into a good environment where they can express themselves and try to play in the right way.

What’s your thoughts going into the weekend? Any team news?

People are looking now and expecting us to win Saturday. Hassocks is going to be as tough as anyone we’ve played in the last few weeks we’ve played 4 of the top 6 in the last few weeks and I don’t expect this game to be any easier. They have had a good run of form with 4/5 wins on the bounce so it’s important we approach the game with the right mindset.
We’ll be without Liam Wilson who has played his final game for the club and sits this one out through injury. Kane Penn is also out through injury after suffering a car crash after the game last weekend but he is recovering well. Other than that we have everyone else to select from and competition for places is fierce now. We have 3-4 lads who won’t make the squad Saturday. It’s helped the lads step up knowing they aren’t guaranteed to start or even be involved every week.

Any last comments for the fans?
Finally thank you to fans who have got right behind the team since I’ve taken over. Hopefully we can give you some more results on the pitch over the next couple of months.

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