Sunday, 10 October 2010

Dagenham and Redbridge Fan Of The Week

This weeks fan of the week is Ian Evans known on the forum as walesdagger. Ian was one of the first people to do another interview I do for my other blog and has been kind enough too agree to do this one as well. A Daggers fan for a number of years he has seen the good and the bad. So its over to Ian for the Fan Of The Week. Enjoy as always.
1. Best Dagenham game you’ve ever seen?

I have enjoyed watching us thrash Barnet a few times at home. A few 5 and 4 goal score-lines spring to mind. I don’t buy into the rivals thing with the Bees. They are reasonably close to us geographically but it’s hardly Celtic and Rangers is it? My personal favourite was the 6-0 win over Morcambe in last season’s play off semi. We just blitzed them and the momentum continued through to Wembley.

2. Worst Dagenham game you’ve ever seen?

Well, like most of us there are a good few to choose from. It would have been that game against Hereford. I was going to go with the wife (then girlfriend) but while we were waiting in The Crown in Romford for our taxi she passed out! I sat in the pub watching the debacle unfold whilst she lay on the sofa style seating. I think at the final whistle I realised she must be the one for me. (She absolutely hates football by the way and I have often wondered if she took a dive that night!).

Games I have actually attended – two spring to mind – both from the 2001-02 season (B****n year). A 4-0 defeat to Barnet at Underhill on St Patrick’s Day was grim, but the one that really takes the biscuit was a 1-1 draw with Hayes at home near the end of the season.

They got relegated and to be fair it was apparent why that night. Somehow they managed to sneak a goal and for the rest of the match we threw the kitchen sink at them. Half way through the second period their keeper took Junior McDougald down in the box, Penalty. Keeper sent off, their centre half went in goal. We scored and I thought they would fold like a pack of cards. They didn’t. Their emergency keeper kept out everything we threw at them and the referee decided that there was only about 15 seconds of added time. (There should have been at least 5 minutes). On the way out of the ground I felt for the first time that we were destined not to go up. My mate Steve said “Oh well, that may be the point that wins us the league!” It wasn’t. It cost us the league and B****n clinched the title at Hayes on the last day of the season.

3. Best Dagenham goal you’ve ever seen?

For pure quality it would have to be Steve Clarke’s wonder strike a few years back. He didn’t play for us for too long and I wish I could remember who it was against. I was standing in The Sieve, right behind him when he hit it. You could hear the thud. He smashed it on the volley and I knew it was going in from the moment of contact. Brilliant.
A couple of years before that, I remember an absolute screamer from Danny Hill against Stalybridge Celtic, which was a beauty.

4. Worst Dagenham goal conceded you’ve ever seen.

It was one against Leigh RMI. We always seemed to do badly against them. A bit like the Hayes game we had fallen behind but got back to 1-1 with about 20 minutes to go, having had numerous chances. This time it got worse though. An under hit back pass to Robbo, Leigh’s overweight striker tried to close him down, Robbo’s clearance struck the striker’s ample arse and rolled tamely into the net. I’m not sure which was greater: The horror from the home support; the unbridled delight of the three travelling supporters; or the raucous laughter of any neutrals present.

5. Best away game?

2003 play-off semi final at Morcambe. It was a bank holiday and I spent the weekend up there with some friends. Blackpool, nights out drinking shots in Morcambe and the worst hangover ever at a football match. The match itself was just nerve jangling torture. A 2-1 lead from the first leg was wiped out and with about 5 minutes to go they went 2 up. Cue Paul Terry and a wonderful injury time goal. Extra time, in which we should have scored several times. Penalty shoot out which swung this way then that. Robbo’s save and the ensuing pitch invasion. Swapping scarves with the home fans and being applauded! I will never forget that day.

6. Worst away game?

The 4-0 defeat at Barnet wasn’t a joyous occasion.

7. Best ever Dagenham player?

I really enjoyed watching Mark Stein. He was far too good for Conference level football, even though he was about 36 at the time. I also have very high hopes for Romain Vincelot of the current squad. Robbo is the great constant in the team though. He was playing in the first Daggers match I saw and still performs to an equally high level. He has to be my favourite. For his longevity- and his Welshness.

8. Worst ever Dagenham player?

I hate criticising players who managed to play at a higher level than I did. Not necessarily the worst, but I remember feeling disappointed with both Leon Braithwaite and Alex Meechan. It never quite happened for those guys.

9. If you could sign any player for Dagenham who would it be and why?
Well, obviously Messi would be a bit of a coup, but perhaps he would cause problems with our wage structure. At the moment it doesn’t take a genius to realise we are desperately short of a goal scorer. If we don’t get someone in who can find the net regularly then we are going to struggle this season. Adam Le Fondre of Rotherham would do nicely. (I know we can’t afford him)

10. Where do you think Dagenham will be in 10 years?

I have been watching the Daggers for 10 years. In that time we have been promoted into the football league and now into the 3rd tier of English football. At this rate we should just about be playing our first season in the Premiership (or whatever they will be calling it) in 2020. Realistically, I would like to think we could become a fixture in League 1 for a few seasons and grow as a club. A bigger fan base, better facilities and a larger budget. If I am honest I can imagine us yo-yoing between 3rd and 4th tiers. Who knows though. Serious investment from a very rich benefactor and we could be playing in Europe. Lack of investment, losing John Still and bad luck and we could return to the ranks of non-league football.

Thanks Ian hope you enjoy your moment in the limelight. If you want to take part then let me know by sending me a message at

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