Former Gunner Selley is ready for the battle
HE MAY have a European Cup Winner's Cup medal in his cabinet, but for now former Arsenal midfielder Ian Selley is 100 per cent committed to keeping Whyteleafe in the Ryman League Division One South.
Selley joined Arsenal in 1990 as a trainee and went on to make 42 appearances for the Gunners, including playing in their 1993 League Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday and their 1994 European Cup Winner's Cup triumph over Parma.
"I started in that game – we played the final against Parma and beat them 1-0," Selley explained. "Parma were one of the top sides and we were the underdogs so it was good to get an early goal and then we defended for 85 minutes, so yeah we were quite lucky and I was lucky to play in it."
Brought in on loan from Kingstonian by Whyteleafe boss Steve Griffin, Selley's arrival has coincided with a turnaround of form as Leafe look to drag themselves out of the relegation zone.
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"Griffs brought some good players in so it's not all me, but I've been enjoying it," Selley said. "The last couple of games we have picked up some decent results. There is something to play for, obviously everyone prefers it at the other end of the table.
"We have some tough games coming up and we need to pick up at least three points from one of those games."
At 37-years-old, Selley has amassed a string of former clubs from Fulham to Croydon Athletic, but the midfielder still gets a "buzz" from pulling on the boots whether it be at Craven Cottage or non-league.
"I've been quite fortunate… well I say fortunate but I've had a few injuries – a few broken legs. It was a long time ago and I'm just happy to be still playing if I'm honest," the former England U21 international said. "The non-league game is a bit different, more physical, but I'm still enjoying it.
"I'm 37 now, but I might give it one more season, we'll see. I still work hard and I'm fairly fit, so as long as the legs hold up I'll keep going."
Selley was disappointed to see Whyteleafe go down 4-1 at Bognor Regis Town after a great first half on Saturday, and despite the lack of form shown by bottom club Burgess Hill Town, he isn't counting his chickens just yet.
"I think we started the Bognor game well and would have been happy to take a point away from the game but in the second half we fell apart which was a little bit frustrating," Selley said. "We knew it would be difficult at Bognor but overall it's been good.
"Last week we beat Burgess Hill 4-0 and if I'm honest I can't see them winning a game, but you know what football is like and it only takes them to get a draw and we could be back in trouble."
And Selley is up for the battle of keeping Whyteleafe in the Ryman League, adding:
"You still get the buzz, but we don't get a trophy for staying up do we?"