Yates flanked by Tom Rees (L) and Nick Hutchings (R) (Photo Credit: Andy Orman)
Originally published 16/04/16 on South Coast Journalism
Robbie Yates told South Coast Journalism how ‘unfinished business’ kept the highly-sort after goalkeeping coach at Tatnam Farm.
Six cleansheets in the last six games for Poole have given them the platform to secure promotion, and Goalkeeping coach Robbie Yates paid tribute to his protégé, Nick Hutchings, and the rock solid defence that stood in front of him for most of the season.#
“Yes I am – [very happy with the six cleansheets.] Obviously [playing with] the defence is part of the goalkeeper’s role, and six on the bounce – that’s Hutch’s 109th [cleansheet] since he’s been at the club, which I think is a fantastic stat at any level, regardless of the level that it is.
“The defence – we miss Walks [Michael Walker], and [Will] Spetch has come in – you know what I mean, it’s just fantastic – it must be great to be a goalkeeper and play behind those guys.
“I’m immensely proud of Hutch, he’s had his knockers and his doubters as he come has come up the leagues. I remember when he was young in the Wessex [Premier] League, and he’s just proved everyone wrong. His game-management is just absolutely excellent; he’s been a pleasure to work with for four seasons. “
During those four seasons, Hutchings won the Non-League goalkeeper of the year award in 2013, a testament to the hard work he and Yates puts in, on and off the field.
The Poole bench may have been nervous going into this one, but the atmosphere surrounding the ground at the final whistle was one to savour.
“It’s like a pressure cooker gone off today. We knew we had the ability, but unfortunately what happened last year, has made it even sweeter this year.”
And Robbie, affectionately called ‘Macca’ at Tatnam, could have let for pastures new during the summer, with job offers from AFC Bournemouth and Havant and Waterlooville. He even accepeted terms at Bournemouth, and told the club he was set to leave. However, he stood loyally with the Dolphins and has earnt his reward.
“Yes, yes I was [offered a role at Bournemouth]. [It was] unfinished business [that made me stay here].
“Lee Bradbury offered me a position as well at Havant. I stay at clubs for quite a long time, I don’t flitter from club to club, even as a coach. I basically did hand my notice in, and accepted a job at Bournemouth.
“But the reaction I had from Poole, and from work, persuaded me to carry on what I’m doing. And I’m glad I have. I’m just so overwhelmed, I mean I was almost in tears at the final whistle. It’s just all that hard work and graft, it pays off, doesn’t it?”
Yates then praised the coaching staff at Poole, which has seen a few changes over the course of the season.
“I’m immensely proud of Tommy, he’s just a fantastic guy to work with. I love him to bits, I’ve learnt a lot from him, and Callum [Brooks] has come in, and I’ve learnt off him too. We’re just such a very tight knit bunch of coaches, and the players as well.
“It hasn’t sunk in it yet– I feel like the winds been taken out of my sails at the moment. The boys have been fantastic.”
Tom Rees has sat on the bench for most of the season, and whilst his patience has been awarded with cup appearances, there is a strong possibility the ex-New Milton FC man will make his league debut in the next two games.
“We’ve done that before, when we won the South and West, I expect that will happen again. I’ll have to speak to Tommy about that, it’s his decision. I’ll just put across what I feel.
“But it’s a possibility, and it’s down to the gaffer. But Tom [Killick] has a lot of respect for Tom Rees, because he comes to home and away games, and he’s a vital part of the team.
“His input has helped Hutch achieve what he has achieved. He’s just a great lad to have around, and I’m proud and pleased for him.”