Tonbridge Angels F.C

Everything is looking Sonny in the defence

This season has been a learning curve for everyone at Tonbridge Angels, but none more so than Sonny Miles.

Many onlookers thought the young defender might struggle playing at a higher level, but the he has really come of age at the Longmead and is now one of the first names on Tommy Warrilow's team-sheet.

Big and strong, the past month has seen him move to right-back and that versatility will hold him in good stead for the future.

"To be fair, if Tommy hadn't believed in me, he wouldn't have signed me," Miles said. "The start of the season we really learned as a team. It's totally different to playing in the Ryman League. We were all good players in the Ryman League and had someone, like Lee Worgan behind us, to bail us out.

"People at this level are a lot more prolific – if they get a chance they take it. We have certainly tightened up as the season has gone on. It was new to everyone and people at the start of the season – like when Woking hit six past us – were probably looking at the defence.

"But that's just the way we play at Angels. It's the Kevin Keegan school of football – if they score three, we'll score four. But I've really enjoyed the challenge."

However, from a defensive point of view things have certainly changed in the past month or so, coinciding with the arrival of Ollie Schulz from Dover.

"Everyone keeps saying it shows how bad I was!" Miles joked. "But Ollie has played at a good level and his aerial presence and communication is great. It has been nice to play alongside him." Angels have only conceded four goals since the big man came in, but his signing has also seen Miles' role in the team change. From lining up alongside Ben Judge at the heart of the defence, he has had to adapt by moving to right-back.

"Tom rang me on the Friday after he signed Ollie. He told me Ollie's not come in to replace me. Judgey is 35 now and I'm not sure what he'll be doing next season. But more than anything moving to right-back adds another string to my bow and I'm quite comfortable there. It's not like it's anything new to me and every team we play against is big and strong.

"I've not really been up against a nippy winger yet. The manager has asked me to go in and do a job there and I've got no worries about it. Anyway, if you want to play, you've got to do as the manager tells you."

His boss has certainly been impressed with Miles' performances.

"I did not want to mess the lad about too much, but playing at right back is a fantastic tool for him to have in his box. It's not a punishment there. He's 6ft 2in, good in the air, he's not slow and has good feet.

"He dropped back in at centre-back on Saturday and was up against Ollie Palmer – Chelsea were looking at him – but was great against him. His mentality is top drawer and he has grown up a hell of a lot over the past two years."

Kent rivals Dartford were linked with Miles the other week, but Warrilow says that was just rumour.

"Someone said Dartford had rung up, but they never did. I don't know where that came from. If they had, I would have told Sonny. I'd tell any of my players if there's interest – whether it's from the Championship or Kent League. Mind you, I can't believe no-one has come in for him."

Angels entertain Chelmsford tomorrow, the start of three games against teams at the sharp end. Miles says Angels are after a 'big scalp' to take some real confidence into next season.

www.thisiskent.co.uk

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