Sammy Moore wants to show off Leatherhead’s potential at Billericay Town in front of BT Sport cameras
- Credit: Archant
Former Orient and Wimbledon midfielder discusses his long-term aims with the Tanners and why he is loving life at Fetcham Grove
Sammy Moore is hoping to show everyone the potential of Leatherhead tonight when the Tanners visit Billericay Town for their FA Cup first round replay.
The two Bostik Premier teams last did battle on November 5, but played out a 1-1 draw at Fetcham Grove, which forced a replay to be required.
Both clubs will be desperate to progress and if they do, they’ll visit League Two side Wycombe Wanderers in the second round.
The BT Sport cameras will also be present tonight and Leatherhead’s player-manager is dreaming of taking the club to the fourth round again like they did in 1975.
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Moore said: “The FA Cup run has been unbelievable and it’s amazing for me to have made the first round and also be in the draw for the second round.
“If I had been offered that when I took over, I would have bitten your hand off and I was so proud of the players after the first game.
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“To get a draw with Billericay, considering the budget they have, was really great and on another day we could’ve won.
“We’ve played them twice this season (1-0 loss and 1-1) and been disappointed on both occasions, which shows we are doing things right.
“I know it’s going to be tough at their place with 2,000 fans behind them and they score a lot of goals at home, but I believe we can get a result.
“The lads will be confident after our previous two games with them and if we can keep it tight, hopefully we can get a win and make more history in the FA Cup.
“It will be extra special because it’s on BT Sport so we want to show everyone watching what Leatherhead can do.”
When Moore was released by Orient last summer, many expected the midfielder to end up in the Football League or National League.
Therefore it was somewhat of a surprise to see him become a manager at the age of 30 and at a Bostik Premier club.
But Moore explained just why the chance to take over at the Tanners and continue his playing career was an offer he couldn’t refuse.
He added: “I didn’t expect this type of opportunity to come so soon, but you have got to start somewhere and with my coaching company, I always had a burning desire to get into player-management and then eventually just management.
“As soon as I got the call from Leatherhead, I couldn’t turn it down and that was despite having some really good offers elsewhere.
“Leatherhead is a great club to start at and I already knew about their history in the FA Cup, so it was an opportunity I wanted to grab with both hands and I’ve loved every minute of it.
“We’ve had ups and downs in terms of the results, especially in the league, but we are trying to put the foundations in place so we can really move the club forward and I feel we’ve already done that in a short space of time.”
Leatherhead are currently 21st in the Bostik Premier table, but they have played just 13 league fixtures this season due to their success in other cup competitions while virtually every other club have played at least 15 times.
Although Moore has been disappointed with their tally of five wins in the division to date, he is confident they’ll improve on that soon and kick on even more next term.
Following their success in the FA Cup, the Surrey-based club have big plans for the 2018/19 campaign.
“I knew it would be tough this season because the budget we have is less than quite a few other clubs in the division,” said Moore.
“But I’ve tried to assemble the best squad I possibly can and I’m happy with it, although it is small and the demand of playing so many games has been tough.
“Next season we will have a bigger group and the budget should increase because of our success in the FA Cup, so that will help a lot.
“We know we’ll be a lot stronger in 2018 and this is an amazing opportunity I’ve been given and I’m so grateful to everyone at Leatherhead for this chance.
“It’s such a fantastic club and the chairman and all of the people behind the scenes have been so supportive and it has made my life a lot easier.
“Obviously I’m doing it with Jack Midson and we both want to get to the Football League in time, but for now we’re learning so much at this club.
“I do think we can really push for promotion next season, but we also need to pick things up in the league quickly.
“If we can put a run together then the play-offs may not be out of the question and then who knows what can happen, but I am really enjoying myself and I think it’s exciting times for Leatherhead on and off the pitch.”
Regardless of what happens tonight, it has been a memorable few months for Moore and the Tanners and it seems it is just the start.