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Daggers change of ownership: should we...

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DAGGERS DICTIONARY

"Hughes"
Similar to an "Elding" but with less hair and a criminal record.

 

 

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Next Match


24 October 2017
7:45pm
Macclesfield Town
Home
Vanarama National League 
 

Last Match


21 October 2017
Wrexham
Home
Vanarama National League 
Lost 0-1


     On This Day


In 1993,The Daggers drew 2-2 with Cambridge City Away in the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round


In 1999,The Daggers beat Walton & Hersham 2-0 at Home in the Ryman League Premier 


In 2004,The Daggers lost 1-2 to Farnborough Town Away in the Nationwide Conference 
Report



In 2010,The Daggers lost 2-3 to Rochdale Away in the NPower League One 


In 2012,The Daggers drew 1-1 with Exeter City at Home in the NPower League Two 


 

 


From across the Pond
by Dave Indge on 27/11/2001

Dave Indge left Dagenham in 1975 to find his fortune in Canada. In the first of an occasional column at DiggerDagger, he writes about the differences between sport in North America and what he left in England.

From across the Pond

As one of many people who decided to leave Dagenham for other parts of the world, one of the major problems of leaving for Canada in 1975 was how to continue following the wonderful game of football. Having supported Dagenham, West Ham and England for most of my life, to arrive in a country where football was not the most popular of sports was a culture shock.

What's the score?

Keeping up with any results was near impossible. The only time you could find out what was happening "back home" was if you were fortunate to find a newspaper shop that sold English newspapers. These papers as nice as they were to obtain, were usually 2 or 3 weeks late but still allowed for an update of scores and information.

Over the years, due to the influx of Europeans the North American media began to show results as well as reports of the various leagues around the world. Coverage now although somewhat limited is adequate. Of course, the advancement of the Internet has now solved these problems for many.

Soccer (I'll never get used to that term), in North America has always been a game played by the school kids. Other than this and being played by immigrants from Europe, until recently, the game just never really caught on. Many professional leagues have been formed, but for various reasons they folded over time. Several European players arrived in the '70's and 80's to finish out their careers here, among them, Derek Posse, Rodney Marsh, Bobby Moore, George Best, Franz Beckenbauer and Pele to name but a few.

Even with the appearance of these great players, though in the twilight of their careers, soccer still did not get the notice it deserved. The reason was simple. Sports in North America are driven by money and winning. That's it. Soccer, although the sport in Europe, did not have a following in North America sufficient to generate enough money, to in turn generate additional investment.

Sport, American style

The 3 major sports are Football, Baseball and Basketball. Ice Hockey has quickly made increased inroads in to the "American" sports world, but continues to suffer from low attendance in many cities. The fact Hockey is a "Canadian" sport does not help either. Most sports here rely on corporate sponsorship as well huge TV contracts to provide additional money to supplement attendance revenues.

To emphasize this, the National Football League recently agreed to a TV contract worth $17.6 billion dollars. Both Baseball and Basketball have similar television contracts, which allows for the promotion, and delivery of their respective sports. Huge money.

Sports franchises here take substantial money to operate and without these revenues from the TV networks a lot would fold. But unfortunately, what it also shows is how much of a poor relation soccer really is over here and what an uphill battle it faces for nationwide acceptance.

Also, sports fans in North America will only go to watch winners and are somewhat fickle. If a team is struggling people will not support a loser and as attendances drop, so do revenues. It is not uncommon at the end of a season to see one, two or three, teams of any professional sport move from one city to another due to lack of support.

And we are not talking short distances here like down the road 50 or 60 miles. When a team moves it is usually 1 or 2 thousand miles away. Unless you have lived here, you cannot comprehend how vast the distances are.

So will soccer ever take off?

Soccer will, I am convinced, be the game of the 21st century for North America. Despite the comments above, the '94 World Cup played in the US did give the game great exposure, and made money. The game since '94 has leaped into the national spotlight and it is increasing in support. Parents are looking for cost effective ways of involving their children in team sports and soccer fits the bill. In the last 8 years soccer has somewhat taken off.

One of the issues with Football and Ice Hockey is the high cost of equipment to play the game. Basketball is relatively inexpensive, as is baseball. But soccer is by far the least expensive and easiest game to play. Two coats and a ball.

The present United States soccer team(s) (both male and female) although not champions, are both increasing in skill level rapidly. I foresee the men's team as spoilers for the next couple of World Cups and then a serious contender after that. The US female soccer team is presently ranked as one of the best in the world. Canada unfortunately, again due to lack of funding and population size as well, is relegated to a team of also rans.

There is no doubt over time, soccer players from North America will find themselves playing in the European big leagues and for the big teams. Some have done so already and are doing well. Others have tried and after time realize the difference in the standard of play and head for "home" to continue in somewhat obscurity.

And for The Daggers?

Where does Dagenham stand in this situation? Well for one, in time I am sure a player from these shores will pull on a Daggers shirt in the not too distant future and be good enough to command a regular first team spot.

But from a personal point of view, I like the fact I was able to see the beginning of Dagenham as they grew from a small amateur team to become one of the non-league powerhouse teams, now on the brink of full time pro football. I missed the merger into Dagenham & Redbridge but understand the heritage all teams brought to the table and it was vast, a great heritage to build on. And the merger appears to have been kind for those living in the Victoria Road area with the quality of football now being played there.

I see a comparison to the way the game has grown in North America. Very small to start, but on the verge of something big. The next couple of years are going to be interesting for me from both sides of the Ocean.


 

 

 

 

DiggerDagger.com is an independent website and the views expressed are not necessarily those of Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club