Gavin Hoyte, formerly of Arsenal, is the only player to have joined Dagenham and Redbridge this season after two difficult years in League Two in which they narrowly avoided the drop. One of the smallest clubs in the division, and indeed the Football League, they did well to hang on to striker Brian Woodall throughout the summer whilst manager John Still offers a wealth of experience as manager.
It’s Round and It’s White caught up with die-hard fan Nick Murphy (@NickDRFCMurphy) to get his views on the upcoming season.
How did last season measure up, compared to your expectations
I think that last season we had a decent squad, obviously coming into the season off of a relegation wasn’t really a good start. I expected a mid table finish but ultimately we just survived relegation, largely due to our injury crisis throughout the season. Luckily though we got key players back for the run in and went eight games unbeaten which saved our season. I suppose that you could describe it as acceptable in a disappointing manor.
What do you think of your club’s summer transfer activity, are there more arrivals/exits on the horizon?
We brought in Gavin Hoyte at right back which adds something to a good squad, whilst Andrew Burns gives us strength in depth at centre half. We let go a host of “legends” such as Mark Arber, Jon Nurse & Peter Gain due to simply not having the budget for them, which whilst is disappointing, I think we’ll cope. John Still has continued to say that for another player to be brought in, someone will have to go.
What would be a dream new season for you?
I’d quite happily take a Play off place from you right now if it was offered.
What would be your worst nightmare?
Rather obviously relegation, Conference football could potentially kill us and see us suffer consecutive relegations – no one wants to go down to the BSP.
Who will be your most important player/s this season?
There’s a whole host of names that could be included in this bracket. Mickey Spillane & Billy Bingham will be extremely important in the heart of defence & midfield, whilst Brian Woodall looks to continue upon a successful first league season last campaign. Look out for Dwight Gayle as well who scored 42 goals in the BSP last season for Bishops Stortford – big things are expected from him.
Any players you would happily see the back of?
Have to admit the answer to this is no, none of the players drag the team down or I don’t feel work with us. If you’d have asked me two months ago I would have said Gavin Tomlin straight away, but he left for Southend.
Do you have the best manager for the job?
Undoubtedly. John Still is the fourth longest serving English manager for a reason – he knows the club better than anyone else and for that reason my faith will always lie with him.
Opposition players that you respect?
I have a good respect for Marlon Pack at Cheltenham – Jon Nurse as well at Barnet who was formerly of us. Basically any of our former players bar Gavin Tomlin who never really made much of an impact here.
Opposition players that you despise?
Nathan Stanton for his antics in trying to get Abu Ogogo sent off against us last season; add to that he tried to confront one of our supporters in the home fixture which didn’t go down too well. There’s probably more that I have a dislike for that I can’t quite think of off of the top of my head.
Best away fans/ground in your league?
Best away fans for noise are undoubtedly Plymouth, they always bring a good number and are extremely loud no matter what the circumstances. I don’t want to give them a double award but Home Park is probably my favourite ground to visit! Has a unique blend of old and new with the stands and a good noise can be generated. Looking forward to visiting York this season though, looks like an old school ground.
Which teams do you really want to beat this season?
I always like to get one over on Barnet & Southend who have become our two derby games in the league, we always take good numbers to both of those as well which will be a plus. Rotherham is another that you can add to the list since they appointed Steve Evans, (see Bostongate for reasons.)
Finally, where do you honestly think you will finish?
With a young but hungry squad with dashes of quality sprinkled all around the side – I foresee a mid table finish this season, around 10th would be nice. If all of the components work together though I think we may be looking at an outside chance of a Play Off Spot.
Dagenham & Redbridge fans, do you agree or disagree with Nick’s comments? Why not sign up and have your say in the comments section below?