Home   Thanet   Sport   Article

Centre-back Joe Ellul says Ramsgate have the players to upset Woking in FA Cup First Round

Defender Joe Ellul believes Ramsgate have the players to cause an FA Cup upset this weekend.

Isthmian South East Rams host National League Woking in a sold-out First-Round tie at Southwood on Saturday.

Ramsgate defender Joe Ellul. Picture: Randolph File
Ramsgate defender Joe Ellul. Picture: Randolph File

The sides are separated by three divisions but Rams have plenty of experienced heads in their ranks.

Ellul comes into that category, along with the likes of Tom Hadler, Lee Martin and Mike West.

It’s Ramsgate’s first appearance at this stage since losing 2-0 at Nuneaton Borough in 2005.

They missed out on drawing Football League opposition - unlike fellow Isthmian South East clubs Cray Valley and Sheppey, who play Charlton and Walsall respectively.

But while Woking are one of the top sides in non-league, Ramsgate believe they have a chance of reaching the Second Round for the first time in their history.

“I wasn’t disappointed getting Woking, I was disappointed not getting someone massive like Blackpool, Derby or Bolton away because it’s near-enough guaranteed to be a TV game and it generates a lot of money for the club,” said Ellul.

“Other than that, Woking are a good side, they’re in the National League and they always do well in the National League.

“Do I think we can cause an upset? Absolutely. We’ve got the players to do it.

“We’re in good form and I know a lot of our boys are thinking, ‘Let’s turn them over and get to the next round’.

“We don’t fear anyone. That’s been instilled in us from Ben (Smith, manager) and the coaches and throughout our careers. You don’t fear anyone.

“The outcome is the outcome at the end of the day.

“It’s doable - it’s a winnable tie.

“I’d have preferred Hemel (Woking beat them in a Fourth Qualifying Round replay) but it’s a game of football and we’ve seen what can happen in the FA Cup.

“No game is a free hit. This is an opportunity to put the club on the map even more.

“We’re thinking, ‘How do we get the win?’ and I genuinely feel like we’ve got a good chance. We expect a good game, a competitive game.

“I expect them to push us to the wire and I expect us to push them to the wire. Whoever wins, good luck to them.”

Ellul has developed into a key man for Ramsgate following a difficult start to his time at Southwood.

Injury and the death of his grandad saw boss Smith intervene and take the big centre-back out of the side.

“I picked up a calf injury in pre-season so my fitness wasn’t what I, the club or Ben wanted it to be,” said Ellul, 34.

“Then, just before the Sevenoaks game (Rams’ Isthmian South East opener) my grandad passed away.

“Ben ended up taking me out of the side.

“He spoke to me and explained his reasons and said I needed to get myself right.

“I think that’s the best thing he’s done for me because since then I’ve come back and been absolutely flying.

“I feel in good shape, I’m fit and I’ve got to pay homage to Ben because I’d have just carried on playing and it would have hindered the team, but he saw something.

“He’s a man-manager. He knows how to deal with players and he knows his players.

“I’m really enjoying it here. It’s a good club and you can see it’s going places with the players we’ve got.

“We’re trying to push it in the right direction but it’s not about us, it’s about trying to get the club in the right position for when we finally walk away from football.”

Ellul recently took on his first managerial role as boss of London-based Sunday League side Grand Athletic.

He’s the polar opposite of his playing persona.

“I thought I’d try my hand at it,” said Ellul.

“I’m 35 in December and it’s been an ongoing conversation between me and my wife what I’m going to do after playing, not that my time is done yet because I want to keep helping Ramsgate go forward.

“It’s weird because, as a player, I’m quite aggressive, I’m full-blooded and very vocal, but I’m the complete opposite as a manager. I’m very quiet.

“It’s just something that’s naturally happened.

“I like to let the boys be expansive and enjoy themselves.

“If there’s a problem I’ll deal with it but I’m not a shouter.

“Sometimes if there’s too much information going on the pitch, it makes people over-think.

“Sometimes you have to let players get on with what they’re doing and Ben’s quite similar in that respect - it might be something I’ve picked up from him.

“I’m enjoying it - it’s not as stressful - but we’ll see what happens if I go to Saturday football.

“I can’t go bald or grey because I’m both already.”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More