Monday, 2 May 2011

The Biggest Game In Our History

Every season we seem to have the biggest game in our history dont we? We are quite spoilt when you consider how other supporters fair with their teams. From winning the conference title, to staying in League 2 the following season, then just missing the play-offs the next season to the win at Wembley last year, it isn't boring being a Daggers fan that is for sure.

Come Saturday at 5pm we will know where we will be next year, whether we are playing both the Sheffield clubs, Charlton, Preston North End or whether we will be traveling and hosting Southend, Cheltenham and Rotherham. Whatever happens we will still be a league club wont we.

Its been an amazing season when I look back at it, it has gone far quicker than I expected as well. Since we kicked of in August away to Sheffield Wednesday the time has absolutely flown past. Ill admit at the start of the season I thought we would survive comfortably, then Paul Benson was sold in the last few hours of the transfer window and we struggled. For a club that was spoilt with a natural goal scorer for the past few seasons we then found ourselves wanting and we struggled.

In adversity heroes of the highest unlikeliness spring forward and so it was with us. Romain Vincelot suddenly hit a vein of form with his head that took us all by surprise if we are honest and survival looked on. At this point I would once again just like to congratulate Romain on his Player of the Year award. Having signed for us as a right back what a center midfield player he has turned into. Another of those John Still gems we manage to unearth year in and year out. As we got to Christmas 2010 we were struggling we had only won 1 game in nearly two months and I for one thought we would be cut adrift at the beginning of April with only our pride to play for. Humiliated and the pundits right that we were a joke and that we should take a our little club and go back to League 2. Yes I'm looking at you Steve Claridge and Manish Patel.

I was wrong and a new hero stepped forward for us with a burst of goals that no one thought he had in him. Step forward Johnny Nurse and a take a bow son. Wembley hero and perhaps savior of our season we hit a bit of form where we lost twice in the next 7 games, picked up valuable wins against Yeovil, Hartlepool and Brentford and we were off and running again creeping out of the bottom four for the first time this season. Belief ran through me once again and I will be honest it hasn't left me yet.

We go into the final game of the season still fighting, still alive in this league, something that the majority of us didn't think would be real. We have all had a go about something or other the club has done this season, whether those of us have questioned John Stills tactics, his staff, Danny Green, Femi, McCory or the frozen burger bun I was subjected to by our own catering staff back in January (I still haven't forgiven them yet either).

Forget Wembley as special as that day was and it will remain one of the best days of my life, this club of ours, these players led by our captain Mark Arber and the legend that is John  Still go into the game on Saturday knowing that THIS is the biggest game of their careers so far. They know as we do that winning and achieving the impossible will be the biggest day in this clubs short history. To compete again in League 1 next year means we have been spoilt far beyond what any of us could have dreamed off.

John Still was quoted at the weekend as saying "These players will die for this club" how many fans are lucky to have that? Look at Swindon relegated to League 2 weeks ago, Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton stuck in mid table and us little old Dagenham and Redbridge having a chance to do this wonderful League all over again. Who would you rather support?

A win may not be enough Saturday, then again a draw could be, its going to one of the most nervous and agonizing days of my life but when its all over, when that whistle goes, I will know that every player on that pitch gave everything they could to make sure we stayed in this division and I will never forget that. More importantly neither should you, just remember who we are, were we have come from and look back on this season with pride at what 'the pub team from Essex' achieved against all the odds once again.

1 comment:

  1. A rousing piece, makes me proud of our 'pub team from Essex' Come on You Daggers!