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Daggers change of ownership: should we...

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Go with the East Consortium
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Something that was alleged to be "taking over" at Stevenage in the early "naughties", but took many many years to materialise.




Next Match

14 March 3020
Vanarama National League 

Last Match

10 March 2020
AFC Fylde
Vanarama National League 
Lost 1-2

     On This Day

In 1993,The Daggers beat Colchester United 5-0 at Home in a friendly match

In 1994,The Daggers lost 2-3 to Peterborough United at Home in a friendly match

In 1996,The Daggers drew 2-2 with Baldock Town Away in a friendly match

In 2005,The Daggers drew 3-3 with Bishop's Stortford Away in a friendly match

In 2011,The Daggers beat Macclesfield Town 1-0  Away in the NPower League Two 

In 2013,The Daggers lost 2-3 to Brentford Away in the Capital One Cup First Round

In 2016,The Daggers beat Southport 3-0 at Home in the Vanarama National League 

In 2019,The Daggers beat Dover Athletic 2-1  Away in the Vanarama National League 



Jaw jaw not war war!

Fans Forum
by Hardy on 28/02/2003

Last night team manager Garry Hill and Club Chairman Dave Andrews faced around 80 Daggers fans in an open forum. Hardy reports on the discussons.

Fans Forum

Last night team manager Garry Hill (left) and Club Chairman Dave Andrews faced around 80 Daggers fans in an open forum. As always the men who run the club were open and honest with their answers to questions which ranged over a number of subjects.

I took notes at the meeting and have arranged the questions and answers into general topics here rather than reporting them as they were raised.

To discuss the issues raised further see the Unofficial Forum.

This season
Why did the club struggle so much at the start of the season?

Garry answered that he really didn't know, but that the uncertainty around the punishment for Boston had meant that pre-season had been a little strange, and players and staff had felt let down by the outcome of the FA inquiry. In September he had pretty much the same squad that has now lost just once in 19 league games, but that a few were carrying injuries and players like Lee Matthews and Tim Cole were feeling their way back from long term absence.

Garry agreed that had the club had the services of Lee Matthews and Tim Cole in 2001/02 it would almost certainly not have lost out on goal difference as it did, after all those two were the heart of the defence that carried us to 3rd the previous season.

He added that it was the first time in his ten years as a manager that he had lost four games in a row and that his philosophy was to live and learn from problems. Taken the right way, adversity makes you stronger. The club has bounced back from the poor start and is challenging again.

Garry told the team after the FA Cup exit to treat the season as a sixteen game league season. They had done that and now it was a twelve game season.

How many points are needed to secure a play off spot?

Garry said that he thought that 75 would do it, but added, tongue in cheek, that if we win all our games and gain 88 points, this would win us the title.

Is money available for new players?

Dave replied that there is money in the pot still. Garry added that he is still looking for another left sided player which would give him what he believes is everything we need. Paul Bruce is now back in training and may be ready in a few weeks having had two operations, but Garry is worried that the loss of John McGrath or Ashley Vickers would leave us exposed down the left side.

Does having such a large squad made it hard to motivate fringe players?

Garry replied that in modern football it is necessary to have large squads, flexibility in tactics and coverage for various positions. The players understood this and all wanted to be part of a successful club so were willing to work and wait for chances to come.

He added that he felt Danny Hill was one of the best players in terms of ability he had ever had in a team of his, but that in our league he lacks some of the "physicality" needed. He also mentioned Mark Rooney as a superb example of a squad player.

Are we disappointed by this seasons attendance figures?

Dave said that the club is disappointed that gates have dropped but that the club's mid-table position in September was probably to blame and that many fans are very fickle. He did say that with the current position and a number of major games still left to play there is a chance that this could change yet.

On Individual Players
Junior McDougald

Junior has been offered a new contract twice but as yet is "keeping his cards close to his chest". The figures offered are improvements on Junior's current deal. Garry believes that Junior is an important player but will not over-commit the club to keep an individual and risk breaking the wage structure. He has asked Junior to be straight with the club and believes that he will be.

Danny Shipp

In contrast to Junior, Danny Shipp's new contract negotiations took two minutes, Danny just had to be shown where to sign.

Tony Roberts

Garry stated that Tony was a massive asset to the club in terms of ability and character and that is clear that the love affair between Tony, the club and the fans is mutual. The question of what happens to Tony's insurance payout should we be promoted was again discussed and it is clear that there would be a problem should the club pay this back in terms of a precedent. Garry added that this bridge will be crossed when it is reached.

John McGrath

John is enjoying his time with the club and is surprised at the level and competitiveness of the football. He is contracted to Aston Villa until the end of the season, but the loan agreement does not allow them to recall him. What happens beyond the end of the season? We will see.

Steve Watts

Garry has spoken to Paul Brush about Steve Watts potentially extending his loan but with 3 games still left on the current agreement this is a little premature yet. In an obvious Drew Broughton reference, Garry did say that we have seen players come in and excel on loan before only for levels of performance to slip once players "get comfortable".

Steve West

Garry said that Steve West has proved a real asset to the club and that the arrival of Steve Watts has been a bit of a blow to him, but was because Steve had a calf strain and the gap had to be plugged quickly. Garry likes competition and two in-form centre forwards is a nice problem to have.

Lenny Piper rumours

Garry did enquire as to the availability of Lenny Piper and was quoted a telephone number in reply. He knows Lenny well through his time at St Albans and admires the player for his ability to score from midfield, which is an area which the club has been weak in over the last couple of seasons.

Daryl Clare?

Garry stated that Daryl Clare was too expensive for the club to consider, and he preferred to continue unearthing much more cost effective gems like Steve West for instance.

On the ground
What further ground improvements are planned?

The rules have been changed over ground regulations and grants available for improvements. Clubs in the Conference are no longer eligible for grants to get them up to Football League standard but will have two years, if promoted, to get their ground sorted out. Grants of 2million are available to promoted clubs.

The club has spent over 1million in the last two seasons on the ground and now has a Football league grading. Minor odd improvements are planned, but no major work unless we are promoted.

The Tannoy

The club is aware of problems with the current tannoy system and will be moving and realigning speakers shortly.

The Bury Road End

Access around the Bury Road End, and the walkway in front has proved a problem at a few of the major games in the last two seasons. The club is aware of this and is looking at how to best address these.

The FA Cup
Ticket problems

Dave explained exactly what had happened with tickets for the Norwich game. On winning the replay Norwich City had given the club 24 hours to decide if it wanted to take its "natural" allocation of 2,200 or take its entitled allocation of 15% of the capacity, with the caveat that if it took the full allocation it would have to pay for these tickets up front. With an average attendance of around 1,500 and a known number of members the 2,200 option was selected. In hindsight this was a mistake and the club will learn from this.

Looking after the regulars?

Dave stated that the club could not be responsible for seating allocation in away grounds. It does its best to keep people happy but there is a limit to what can be done.

Garry Hill
Garry was asked about his personal ambitions particularly given certain rumours

He was very clear that he has ambitions to manage in the Football League and also that he wants to do that with Dagenham & Redbridge. He loves the club and is desperate to get it to where it deserves to be, in the Football League. He knows that his name will get attached to almost any job that comes up in London or Essex and that fans just have to trust that he will be straight in responding to these rumours when they occur.

Full time football?

Garry feels that going full-time would be an advantage for the club but also that the finances of this need to be carefully thought through. He admitted to some frustration at not having the time needed to work on fitness and set pieces on occassion.

Dave pointed to Halifax Town and Scarborough as examples of clubs where ambition has outstripped the finances. A number of current players have excellent jobs outside football that they would find hard to risk losing and it is likely that at least four or five of the current squad would leave as a result if this happened. Names mentioned were Lee Matthews, Tim Cole, Ashley Vickers.

Dave stated that should the club gain promotion it will slowly move to a full time basis.

The Conference
What is the club's view on Conference Division 2?

Dave stated that he supported the move to two feeders as this would allow two promotion places from each of a north and south feeder into the Conference proper. He stated that the FA are staying firmly on the fence at the moment supporting in principle but not actually getting involved in the plans.

The play-offs

Interestingly the team winning the play-off will get 88,000 compared to the champions 50,000. The play-off's will be televised by Sky. Money from the games will be shared by all the clubs in the Conference through a pool.

Qualifying in sixth place?

This is due for discussion at the upcoming chairman's meeting in mid-March. With Halifax currently in administration and therefore in-eligible for promotion but in a play-off spot it is possible that sixth could be enough to get into the play-off. Dave was clear that much could change on this, not least Halifax could easily get out of administration.

Tickets for the play off final?

Dave stated that should the club qualify for the play off final tickets will not be a problem. The Britannia Stadium has a capacity of 26,000 and it is likely that as many as 20,000 would be available for the participating clubs.

Odd bits
Will there be new kit for next season?

The club will have a new home kit for 2003/04 and this will hopefully be worn for the play-off's. As yet no details are available other than it will be red and white.

Youth/Reserves policy

Garry felt that the Capital League had been a success. The club is currently looking at how it moves forward with it's youth policy and how it best brings young players through to the first team.

Will the Daggers Band be allowed back into the centre of the Sieve?

Dave explained that the club had received a number of complaints at the noise levels generated under the roof when the band played there. As a result of this, and the problems at the Southport game, musical instruments were first banned from under the cover, then, in compromise, limited to the area to the east of the first gate into the back of the Sieve. This seemed like a fair compromise to him despite comments from the floor that this was some way from the half way line.


The club will always come first before any Non-league International commitments. Dave made it clear that while winning honours was great for the players involved if the FA was serious about playing these games it needs to plan them properly and make space in the fixture list to avoid clashes with Conference commitments.

And finally... On Bostongate
Was justice done?

Garry stated that it was clear that of the three main parties involved Boston United and Steve Evans had pretty much got away with it while Dagenham & Redbridge had been shafted. Garry's philosophy is that what goes around, comes around and that time will see things evened up.

On Ken Charlery's wages appearing in the Non-league Paper

Dave stated that the "story" was missing several inches of Ken Charlery's contract, which detailed bonuses for appearances and goals and was obviously a malicious attempt to imply something about Dagenham & Redbridge while not actually saying very much.

The club made a deliberate decision to ignore the story knowing that journalists like to get into a frenzy over denials and counter claims. The FA stated to the club that they had no worries about the way it runs it's business.

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