We reflect on how players from the Wanderers first team squad got on out on loan in 22/23...
Ollie Allen With loan experiences at Chipstead, Kingstonian and Haywards Heath Town under his belt from the previous campaign, central midfielder Ollie began 22/23 on loan at Burgess Hill Town in the Isthmian South East Division (Step 4). The loan spell was unfortunately blighted by injury for Ollie, including missing all matches in the month of September, but he did feature in The Hillians cup victories either side of the month; a 3-1 win over Stansfeld FC in the FA Cup Preliminary Round and 2-1 defeat of Hanworth Villa again at home in the FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round. In mid-October, Ollie was given the opportunity to start the season afresh, signing on loan with Wanderers Mole Valley rivals Leatherhead. It would be a reunion with newly appointed manager Hayden Bird, who had brought Ollie to Kingstonian on loan through the course of last season. Ollie would go on to feature consistently in the heart of The Tanners midfield as they gradually fought their way up the Isthmian South Central table following a difficult start to the campaign, and despite producing a run of 8 straight games unbeaten to finish the season, they would ultimately miss out on the coveted play-off places by a couple of spots, ending up in 7th. Also playing his part in Leatherhead reaching the quarter-final stages of both the Velocity Cup and Surrey Senior Cup as well last term, Ollie reflects back on the past season with pride:
"My time at Leatherhead was really enjoyable and helped me a lot in the development of my career. I was able to play 30+ games in a team that became very strong since our new manager arrived."
Ollie will remain a Wanderer heading into 23/24, and although it's still early in the close season, the next chapter of his career has already been determined with the recent confirmation he will join newly promoted Walton & Hersham on loan as they begin life in the Southern League South Division (Step 3).
After winning the club 'Player Of The Year' award at Leatherhead last season, centre-back Cameron initially started this campaign on loan at National League South side Hampton & Richmond Borough. Prior to the season getting underway though, it was acknowledged by all parties that regular game time would be potentially limited, so Cameron instead made the switch to Hayes & Yeading United, promotion final runners up in the Southern League Premier South Division (Step 3) last term. On the bench for the first couple of games of the season, Cameron made his first start and debut for Hayes in the 1-0 home win over Hendon on August 16th. From there, Cameron became a regular starter, forming a good partnership with skipper Charlie Wassmer at the back as Hayes made a solid start to the campaign. However, in early October, Cameron suffered the setback of a broken nose, and was ruled out of action for the remainder of the month. After recovering from his injury, Cameron moved across Step 3 to the Isthmian Premier Division at the start of November, linking with fellow Wanderers loanee Joe Rabbetts at Bognor Regis Town. Making his debut in the 2-0 away defeat at Margate on November 5th, Cameron would go on to make 30 appearances for The Rocks in a campaign which would see Robbie Blake's side finish mid-table and reach the final of the Sussex Senior Cup. Cameron would play his part in the club's progress in the competition; appearing in the 6-1 defeat of Bexhill in the 4th round and starting in the semi-final win over Brighton & Hove Albion U21's on penalties after the match finished 1-1 at the end of normal time. Despite being defeated in the final at The Amex Stadium on penalties by Worthing following a goalless draw, Cameron would receive the 'Man of the Match' award for his defensive display in the game. Another memorable end to the season, Cameron acknowledges the many positives the last several months have provided:
"It was a great experience to play under Robbie at Bognor, I really felt I developed a lot playing Bognor's style of football and to finish the season playing at The Amex topped it off."
Central midfielder James signed with Haywards Heath Town on a season long loan in August, reuniting with manager Martin Dymon who had signed him whilst in charge at South Park last term. 2021/22 had been a memorable personal season for James as he was awarded the 'Supporters Player of the Year' award at the conclusion of the campaign, having played the majority of the season for The Sparks after an intermittent initial spell at Merstham. Playing at Step 4 again this term in the Isthmian South East division rather than South Central, James made his Haywards Heath debut in the 2-2 home draw against Lancing on August 16th, and proved again be a consistent, ever-present performer in the middle of the park throughout the campaign, starting in the vast majority of his near 40 appearances for The Blues, finding the net once with the opening goal of the 0-3 win away at Corinthian.
Confirmed earlier this month to be one of several players leaving Wanderers ahead of 23/24, manager Marc White said of James:
“Part of our successful youth set up and development squad, James now moves on to pastures new as his development term finishes. A fantastic lad, with a really supportive family, James is an excellent box-to-box midfielder and has featured several times for the 1st team in the past 4 years. I wish him all the best. Both James and his family will remain firm friends with the club.”
Commenting via social media at the time of his departure from the club, James added:
"Great experience to be part of this club for the past 5 years, thank you to everyone at the club for the support over the years. Looking forward to starting a new chapter this season."
Signed from Aldershot Town last summer and featuring for the Wanderers first team in pre-season, left sided wing-back Joe was sent on loan to Bognor Regis Town ahead of the season starting in August. Making his debut in the 1-0 home win over Hornchurch on the opening day, Joe featured regularly for The Rocks up until mid-September, but unfortunately suffered a broken foot which would rule him out until mid-November. He returned from the bench as Bognor overcame Lewes on penalties to reach the 3rd round of the FA Trophy. Back to being a regular starter for the side thereafter, Joe would collect the first of many 'Man of the Match' awards in the next round of the Trophy as Bognor were narrowly seen off by Banbury United in a seven goal thriller. Receiving the 'Man of The Match' award on the final day of the league season in the 2-0 win at home to Folkestone Invicta, amongst his 40+ appearances for The Rocks Joe would collect the club 'Player of the Month' awards for December, January and March, as well as winning the club 'Goal of the Season' award for his superb strike from range in the 2-1 defeat at Carshalton Athletic in February.
Joe scored one of the penalties in the shoot-out of the Sussex Senior Cup final against Worthing, but would ultimately have to share the disappointment of defeat alongside fellow Wanderers loanee Cameron Black. Like his team mate though, Joe take's real pride from the past season as his footballing journey and development continues at pace:
"The season I spent at Bognor was perfect; the coaching staff, players and fans were very welcoming to me and took me in as one of their own. I've progressed substantially due to the time spent there and hope to take what I've learned back to Dorking."
Jordan Cheadle Featuring intermittently for the Wanderers first team in the opening half of the season, Jordan moved on loan to get increased game time at National League South side Dulwich Hamlet in February. In the space of exactly one month, Jordan would make 8 appearances for the South London side, including playing in the home wins over St. Albans City and Havant & Waterlooville. Released by Wanderers in the close season, Jordan's destination for next term has already been confirmed with the announcement on May 21st he will be joining Hampton & Richmond Borough in the National League South. At the time of his departure, Marc White commented: “It is so hard to say goodbye to Cheads - he is a huge figure in the changing room and has the best left foot known to man. Ultimately though I am glad he has experienced the success of being part of that amazing play-off win last year with us."
Following the arrival of Joe Walsh on loan from QPR and with Dan Lincoln still very much part of Marc White's first team plans, long term Wanderers stopper Slav was sent on loan to Leatherhead to get regular playing time back in November. Making his debut in the Velocity Cup 3rd Round 2-1 win over Kingstonian at Fetcham Grove, Slav went on to make 20 appearances in all, his loan spell finishing with a 1-3 win at Chipstead on March 11th. 'Super Slav' maintained his excellent track record of saving penalties as The Tanners overcame Sutton Common Rovers in a shootout to advance from the 4th round of the Velocity Trophy on December 21st, bowing out at the quarter-final stage to Aveley the following month.
Jack Jebb Featuring fairly regularly for Wanderers since signing last summer, Jack moved to Havant & Waterlooville on March 4th to get further game time towards the back end of the season. Making 10 appearances for The Hawks as they pushed for a play-off place in the National League South, Jack bagged his first goals for the club in the final away game of the campaign, including the winning strike in a 3-4 thriller against Concord Rangers. Adam Mekki Adam's one-month loan at Bath City back in February was unfortunately curtailed very early on due to injury, the winger suffering a shoulder injury in just his second game against Havant & Waterlooville. Ruled out for the rest of the campaign, Adam was released at the end of the season by Wanderers, but Farnborough FC have moved quickly to secure his signature for 23/24, announcing Adam's signing this past Bank Holiday Monday. Speaking about Adam's season at the club, manager Marc White noted: "He is a real team player, always on call to muck in when required and was brilliant around the changing room. Characters like Meks are one of the main reasons that I enjoy football management.”
Joining Wanderers from Accrington Stanley back in November, with limited minutes under his belt Archie moved on loan to National League South side Weymouth on March 7th. Archie was always included in the matchday squad's through to the end of the campaign for The Terras, but only featured in a couple of games for Bobby Wilkinson's side, the manager naming a consistent selection as his team put together an excellent run of form in the closing weeks of the season, including winning 4 of the last 5 games, to prevent a second consecutive relegation.