White enjoying a new challenge at Braintree Town

Yellow Sport’s, Dave Bishop caught up with Braintree Town captain, John White recently to chat with him about his early impression of his time with The Iron since joining the club, his first steps into coaching as well as his thoughts on former clubs, Southend United and Colchester United’s prospects for the season.

Yellow Sports Dave Bishop with Braintree Town skipper, John White

“I am loving it here and really enjoying my football again,” White enthused 

“It is a completely different challenge for me and we are really trying to build something here now as literally we only had just two players

from last season signed when I arrived, so it is an almost entirely new squad that Angelo Harrop has put together. 

“I get such a good feeling from the team itself, the squad, the management and the staff.

“The closeness we have managed to achieve in such a short space of time is a credit to everyone involved. We are a work in progress and I can see nothing but good things ahead moving forward.

“Obviously, Braintree’s budget isn’t the biggest and it’s no secret we cannot afford to compete when it comes to signing big-name players or paying silly money, but I am sure that the mentality we have

as a group is going to take us a long way and our aim will be to get as close to a play-off place as possible, come the end of the season and see what happens from there.”

The Rochford-born defender spoke fondly about his time at Roots Hall Stadium: “My final Southend appearance against Torquay United when coming on as sub two minutes before the end on the last day of the season and the overwhelming ovation I received from the fans followed by my Testimonial match versus Colchester, the week after were both extremely emotional days, to say the least for both my family and myself and I really cannot think of a better way to have finished my time there,” he said.

“Such great scenes and memories. From day one, the Southend fans were incredible for me, as let’s face it, coming from their biggest rivals it could have been a difficult situation for me but that never really came into play and I couldn’t have asked for better support from them throughout the nine years I was there and I cannot thank them enough for that.”

The 36-year-old is hoping Southend can continue rebuilding under the stewardship of Kevin Maher: “I’d like to think it will be a positive season for the Shrimpers and obviously they will be looking to be promoted,” he added,

“Pretty much anything less than that they won’t be happy with but as we know from last year, it is a very tough league with some big teams still in it and no doubt there will be a few surprise teams coming through to push them all the way too. 

“I would like to think that if they are up there around Christmas there might be some money made available to get them over the line as I honestly think that once they get back in the league again, there will be no stopping them.”

John White (left) in action for Southend United against Stockport County at Roots Hall Stadium (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport0

Having made more than 250 appearances for Colchester United, White also has a keen interest in events at the JobServe Community Stadium: “I think it will be tough for Colchester, but I know Wayne Brown personally and have a lot of faith in him to succeed there. He has a great work ethic and attention to detail and will without a doubt be aiming high and not just looking to avoid relegation. 

“Wayne and his coaches, Dave Huzzey and Joe Dunne, know the club inside out and totally understand what it is all about. I certainly think they

have the right men in place to do well with the group of players they have at their disposal. I certainly wish them all the best.”

White spoke about his new challenge at Braintree and a subsequent pathway into coaching: ” “Although I always said never say never, coaching was something I hadn’t considered getting into previously. But when the chance to join Braintree came about and I was also offered the

opportunity to work with Angelo at his company’ SCS (Sports Coaching Specialists), I realised it was a fantastic chance for me to play part-time and begin a new career too.

“In term time we go into primary schools and teach PE and in the holidays, we run our soccer camps for kids. They have an academy as well.

“It is totally different to anything I have ever done before. I’m working my way up and still learning but it’s great being able to pass on some of my experience to the youngsters and I’m really enjoying

it.”

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