Simon Peddie: Hashtag United, Montserrat and Non League Football

Credit: Hashtag United

You signed for Hashtag United in 2018. How are you enjoying your time at the club so far and how would you describe a club such as Hashtag United?

My time at Hashtag United so far has been very good and everyone has made me feel welcome and in terms of the playing side we have been quite successful so far. In terms of Hashtag United as a club it is very different to what I have experienced before. When I arrived at the club I was not quite sure what to expect but I think it is one of those things that until you have actually gone in there you do not realize what it is like and how it is has been a very good experience so far.

You played two spells for East Thurrock United. How do you look back on your time at the club and do you have any highlights or special memories?

My time at East Thurrock United was probably my most successful and enjoyable time in my playing career. East Thurrock United are a club that I will always have fond memories of and I always keep an eye out for their results. The leadership and management at the club has changed but the club still has a fond place in my heart.

The opportunity came about through my current manager Jay Devereux because I was about to play for Maldon & Tiptree FC and he sent me a message encouraging me to wait and sign for East Thurrock United. In terms of highlights there have been a few. We achieved promotion in my first season to the Ryman Premier League and we also got promotion to the Conference South and we made the FA Cup 1st round twice so they would be the main standout highlights of my time there.

We also managed to come from behind in a game on the last day in order to avoid relegation and that gave me as much satisfaction as any other highlight in all honesty because of the joy of staying up.

You have been capped by Montserrat. How do you look back on representing your country and what are your highlights and memories of playing international football?

That would be right up there at the top because it is not something that players at the level I play at get to do quite often or even at all so for me to be able to say that I have played international football is still something that I do not know how to describe even now but is it up there with the best achievements in my career so far.

The experience itself I got to play in two games against U.S Virgin Islands and Bonaire and we won 1-0 against U.S Virgin Islands and drew 0-0 against Bonaire and unfortunately we were not able to go to the next round but in terms of personal experience to play twice and not concede and before that Montserrat were ranked bottom in the world so that was a big achievement and the joy of my mother and grandma who were both born on the island is just something that you cannot beat.

You have accrued good experience at different levels of English football and international football too, could you say who are among the best players you have played alongside so far in your career?

I have been fortunate to play with a look of good players from the years and I started playing when I was very young and have seen the generational change. Straight off the top of my head I played with Joe Cole at Chapel Boys and he was a standout player even at under 12 level.

Credit: Lynchg

I also played with Lionel Morgan who unfortunately due to injury did not have the career that everyone thought he would. Going into my Non League career I would say Manny Williams at Leyton FC, Sam Higgins at East Thurrock United, I had a brief time with Joe Keith towards the end of his career even in the way that he trained. Marvin Ekpiteta who is now playing for Blackpool FC. I feel bad just naming the players that I have done because I have played with many good players during my career

I can imagine in your position as a defender/ midfielder that you have come up against difficult opponents through the years, when you look back are there opponents that have stood out for you in terms of talent and ability?

Yes, There was a striker named Richard Jolley who played mainly for Wealdstone FC and I always found it a tough game when playing against him. Steve Morison when he was at Bishop’s Stortford before he moved into the Football League.

Jermaine Beckford and Bradley Woods-Garness who is also an international team-mate of mine and when I played against him he always gave me a tough game and also Dale Binns at Hendon FC who was a left winger who had a lot of quality. Ben Wood, Tom Williams, Joe Keith and Lewis Smith were also very good players.

Finally Simon, you mentioned Jay Devereux. Could you say who are the coaches and managers who have meant a lot to you and played a key role in your development as a professional footballer?

Yes, Going right back to when I was young the first one was Classford Sterling and then going into Non League I would say Tom Loizou was the first manager to give me a full run out at Non League level and we have remained good friends and we still speak even now. I was with Dave Ross for a short period at Redbridge FC.

John Coventry and Dale Keef who was my coach and I played under him at Tilbury FC as well and my current manager at Hashtag United Jay Devereux he also managed me before at Redbridge FC and he was also the assistant while I was at East Thurrock United and I also played with Jay when I was 18 years old as well. Also John Sitton also had an impact on my career.

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