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 The Poll

Daggers change of ownership: should we...

Stay as we are (Members Club)
Go with the East Consortium
Go with the Tamplin Consortium
Look for another solution


View Current Standings


DAGGERS DICTIONARY

"Valiant"
The act of losing to higher opposition despite putting in huge effort (see also "plucky").

 

 

Crest

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 


 

 

Introducing Adam Lees

Adam Lees is the man behind the Third World Rivals site which is dedicated to all things "Division Three". Add to this he is a Halifax Town fan and Adam is fully aware of the issues around promotion and relegation between the Conference and Football League, and the differences in standard and attitude between the divisions having "been there".

I first came into contact with Adam during the "2 up, 2 down" campaign during the summer 2001. He posted a few items on the Fair Play Campaign's message board and I started an email debate with him. He was happy to let me put the Campaign's argument up on Third World despite disagreeing with it, and since then I have contributed several articles about the Conference to the site.

I asked Adam to provide us with his view of the differences between the leagues and he was good enough to provide the following article which I am sure you will agree makes interesting reading, particularly given Dagenham & Redbridge's current position in the Conference.

This is a summary from a pair of articles on Third World. The full articles can be found here and here.

Here is what Adam had to say:

League v Conference

More and more often we hear how the gap in playing standards between Division 3 and the Conference is getting smaller by the minute. I'm not sure how much we can read into such statements as they often come from ambitious non-league chairmen, who have more than a passing interest in talking up their end of the game. In order to test out the claims with a little more depth than the average tabloid I decided to sit down and ask a couple of fans from the most recent Conference promotees, Kidderminster and Rushden, and ask them what they thought the differences were. My moles in this mini questionnaire were Adrian Bloomer from Kiddy and Garry Craske from the Diamonds.

Footballing differences

The first and most obvious point to explore is the question of how the football compares. The key thing that both of our sources identified was the higher levels of physical fitness that the full time game demands. It is this and tighter back lines rather than the standard of the play that separates the two. Adrian commented "Skill levels are not that much higher but defensively teams are much more disciplined."

Interestingly the view of which league was most entertaining was narrowly edged by the Conference. The fact that defences are generally easier to breach makes for a more entertaining spectacle. The league seems to be at it's worst when tactics match with Garry keen stating that "when teams play for a draw it can sometimes become tiresome" and Adrian comparing some stalemates to a "game of chess".

And for the supporters

When it comes to opposing supporters both new entrants have been pleasantly surprised. In particular Rushden are relieved to have dropped the 'big spenders' tag. However on the downside both Garry and Ade miss mixing freely with other fans pre and post match.

The most disappointing aspects of the step up that our panel identified was firstly the cost of watching football in Division 3 (16 at Orient quoted as a prime example). This was closely followed by the discovery that league referees were no better than those in the Conference. When do refs ever get a good press!

Settling in

Looking forward both supporters feel that their teams have settled quickly into football league life. Garry admits that it was 'a steep learning curve for the Diamonds' but is now glad that the persistence has paid off and that his team are playing decent football, which is beginning to pay dividends in terms of points. He expects a top half finish.

Our friend from Kidderminster is glad to have kept hold of Jan Molby and expects the youth/reserve set up to yield some stars of the future for the Harriers. However Adrian is realistic about his club's limitations and he views the level of support on the terraces as a major barrier. He said "We need a much bigger following to go any further than the lower reaches of division two"

Can Conference teams survive?

From the brief selection of comments that has been collected I think that we can conclude that the gap isn't that wide. The fitness thing is no doubt purely down full time training and any club should be able to bridge this upon making the step up. Beyond that there is clearly no reason why the core of a successful Conference side shouldn't 'make it' in division 3 in terms of general ability. Despite all of this I think that the leveller is definitely the amount of financial resource that a club can tap into. Adrian hit the nail on the head in his closing comments and this is a reality that many clubs from middle of division 2 downwards are well aware of.

Don't forget to visit Third World.


 

 

 

 

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