Dorking Wanderers are today delighted to announce the signing of defender Tony Craig on a permanent two year deal following a successful loan spell from Crawley Town last season. Tony played an instrumental part in Wanderers ultimately consolidating their position in the National League last term. Making his debut in the away fixture at Bromley on February 18th, Tony would go on to feature in 16 of Wanderers 17 remaining games of the season, including the unbeaten run of 5 which concluded the campaign. Picking up the 'Player Of The Month' award for February, 'TC' would very quickly establish himself as a fan's favourite for his defensive qualities and clear leadership skills, and in the absence of Barry Fuller, captained the side for many of the matches within the last two months of the season. The most experienced footballer to ever play for Dorking Wanderers, Tony began his career coming through the youth ranks at Millwall FC, making his first team debut for the club in 2003. A versatile defender who has played centrally and at full back throughout this career, Tony would go on to make over 300 appearances across 4 spells for the South London club, and was part of the team promoted from League One via the play-offs in 2010 and 2017, captaining the side in the latter final as The Lions defeated Bradford City 1-0 at Wembley. In the period of his career away from The Den, Tony would remain in London to play for the likes of Crystal Palace, Leyton Orient and Brentford, enjoying success with The Bees in the 2013-14 season as they secured promotion from League One by finishing runners up, with Tony awarded the 'Player's Player of The Year' accolade at the end of the campaign. Following the conclusion of his final spell with Millwall in January 2018, Tony continued to play in the Football League with Bristol Rovers and then Crawley Town, racking up nearly a century of appearances at each club.
Looking ahead to his return to Wanderers, Tony says:
'I'm really pleased to be back. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here last season and when I got the call from the gaffer to return, I didn't have to think twice. I look forward to returning and seeing all the boys, staff and the fans for the start of the new season'
Manager Marc White adds the following:
'Tony comes with a vast amount of experience from the very highest level. A leader on and off the field, everyone witnessed the impact Tony had on the back end of our season and our fight against relegation. He played a pivotal - if not the most pivotal - role in that success. We are flattered to have somebody of Tony's experience at the club and are looking forward to him joining us again'.
Wanderers second signing ahead of the 2023/24 campaign, we very much look forward to seeing Tony continue his career in red and white as the club embarks upon a new era and continues it's journey competing in the National League.