PLAYERS MOVING ON TO PASTURES NEW
It is the clubs least favourite part of the year, as there are members of the Wanderers family that are moving on to pastures new now that the 2019/20 season has officially come to an end.
The comments below are all from our First Team Manager Marc White, once a Wanderer, always a Wanderer…
Bostik title winning Captain ‘Razor’ transformed our club, adding a much-needed professionalism to the playing side. I was first told about Razor from my friend and ex-player of the club Tom Davis, who told me “if you sign Razor he will win you the league”. He was right! Razor came in and had the type of core leadership abilities on and off the pitch that are so hard to find these days. Without Razor, Dorking Wanderers would not be the club it is today. Although he will still remain a friend and infrequent visitor to Meadowbank, we will all miss him dearly on a day to day basis. I would however imagine that Razor will return in the future to help take the club forward as part of his Coaching and Management aspirations.
We signed Elliot with perhaps something like 15 games remaining in the Bostik title winning season. Jason (Prior) had a bad back and we were concerned about our options up front, as Gez (Sole) at the time was also injured. I knew nothing about Elliot as a person except for the fact he scored goals, and when we had played against him (during his Staines and Kingstonian spells) he was very threatening and played excellently. So overall it was a signing that was an educated guess rather than pro-actively sought.
I learned two things about Elliot that I can now vouch for; One, he has the best left foot I have ever seen! In training and in matches (as the supporters will vouch for) his finishing is incredible. And two, he is such a credit to himself and his family as a person. I have been so impressed with his all-round attitude; it feels like he has been at the club for much longer that he has. Overall he has been a joy to manage, and whilst he will remain in contact with the club we will all miss him.
Tommy was a founder member of our Bostik Title winning side, having joined us from our friends and neighbours at Leatherhead. Like all of the lads I manage at the club he is a fantastic person, a hard-working lad at training and has been part of many big performances, including both games against Stockport in the FA Trophy last season. He is a real fans favourite who has scored several goals for the club despite playing as a wing-back. Amongst other things Tommy’s biggest asset was his fitness. It felt like even if he slept for 5 months he would still be at the same level, which is a key attribute. I will very much miss Tommy and on this one I would say ‘never say never’. He has been a real pleasure to work with and he is very popular with the lads.
I think it is fair to say that JJ is a real fans favourite! Another key player in our Bostik title winning campaign, JJ epitomises the Wanderers spirit having had a good upbringing just down the road at South Park. JJ will remain dual signed with the club but will be looking to get regular football elsewhere this season. I really feel like the relationship with DW has been reciprocal for JJ. He has improved and played in positions he never dreamed of before. He is a Wanderers legend already and I am sure it won’t be the last time we have seen him in the shirt. His commitment and dedication to the club has been exceptional. As an example, he was the first player to return ready for the play-off’s post COVID-19 lockdown. JJ really helped the club move into a new era, and I want to personally thank him and his family for all their support.
Lewis has enjoyed 3 seasons at the club and has played a pivotal role in our progression. He sits in the category of ‘key experience’ that we needed at that vital time during the Bostik Leagues. What I love about Lewis is how much he desires to play football, despite having been in the game for many years he loves everything about it, from training to match days, he is ultra-competitive and a leader on and off the pitch. He has scored umpteen great goals for the club, not least my favourite which sealed the win against Worthing on the day we were crowned champions just over 12 months ago. Lewis is going on a season long loan so will keep a close connection with the Wanderers. It will be strange not seeing Lewis and his Dad on a match day, they are an old school football family which I resonate with. I expect Lewis to return to the club in one format or another in the future.