the daggers voice
With no game this Saturday, most of the week has centred around the potential departure of Oliver Hawkins.
On Wednesday, Barking & Dagenham Post announced that the Daggers had had a bid for Hawkins rejected. The bid was from League One side Swindon Town and was 'six figures' - meaning it could vary from 100,000 to 999,999. It is presumed that Swindon's bid was quite low but, even though tis one was rejected, three Championship clubs still remain in the running to sign our tall striker, who looks as good as gone.
Then, on the same day, Billericay Town owner Glenn Tamplin (without going into too much details about him) tweeted the below post accompanied with a picture saying 'BOOM':
"Another great TOP BIG GUN signing tomorrow
seriously amazing centre Forward from national conference club in the top 3 of the league" https://t.co/ENzKcELwq2
The player in question turned out to be Christian Assombalonga and even though he's probably not 'seriously amazing' nor did he play for a club in 'top 3' of the 'national conference' (Technically we're 4th), I was a little disappointed that he left. After all, he only signed in the summer and wasn't given enough of a chance in the team plus - if the expected happens and we do lose Hawkins - we could have a real striker crisis on our hands. He also looked fairly decent from what I saw of him.
There was one bit of positive news though as it was announced that Jordan Maguire-Drew's loan had been extended to the end of the season.....over a week after John Still had confirmed this on BT Sport. JMD has been a huge player this season and said he really wants to stay and get us promoted which was great to hear!
Finally, Monday 9th January marked one year since the magical day that was Everton away. It was such an incredible experience that I will never forget, ans meanwhile the Daggers have been linked with ex-Luton winger Jake Howells.
So even though there's been no match to look forward to it's still been a busy week for the Daggers. This will be a regular feature now so to read what happens around the club next week view the next 'Daggers
9th January 2016 was a day I'll never forget.
It was a day where Dagenham & Redbridge, little Dagenham & Redbridge, played a full strength Everton team at Goodison Park in a match that illustrated just how amazing the FA Cup can be. We brought 1883 supporters and 10 coaches to Merseyside and, despite losing 2-0, it was a truly amazing day - and ond ne of my favourite ever games.
I was bursting with pride as I saw our team walk onto the pitch that day. I stayed at Nans the day before and, if I recall, we left at around 5.30am. It was all worth it. The journey felt so short and we met Stephen outside where the coach parked. We went to a lovely pub where we mixed with some lovely Everton fans. Before kick-off, there were so many balloons and banners and songs chanted. It was like no other Dagenham game I had seen before, and suddenly I realised what it felt like to play a big team in a big stadium. An incredible match, two pitch invasions (one of which was unintentionally done by a cat!) and a return coach journey later, I was back at Nans - and immediately watched the highlights show, reliving an incredible memory. Once again, it was a day I'll never forget - and I really hope that there's another 'Everton' to come in the future.
And that, in just a couple of paragraphs, is exactly why I love the Daggers.
That was our biggest away league win in EIGHT YEARS!
And sure, it might have only been against North Ferriby, but it's great that we're scoring goals again - and that wasn't the only positive from the game.
It saw the full return of two injured players whose departures we've been ruing for ages; Craig Robson and Fejiri Okenabirhie. Both players got injured in October and since Robson's injury our defence had fallen to pieces. For one playing in the highest division in his career, he's become such a heavily-dependent and reliable figure.
And Fejiri Okenabirhie, he was a joy to watch earlier in the season. His goal and trickery gave us so many attacking options, on top of the ones we already had of course. He got the opener at Ferriby and his return will no doubt lift the team.
So all of a sudden, we've got back two of our main players and are only a few points off top - not bad all things considered! We have two of the hottest properties in non-league - Whitely and Hawkins - and, with away games at Tranmere and Lincoln to come before the end of February - we could easily end the season as champions!
Actually, anyone up to Dover could realistiically win the league this year, it's so tight at the top and that will make for a pulsating end of the season. Last season it was pretty much a two-horse race from the start but this year it's been anyone's. Most recently Tranmere and Lincoln have been overtaking eachother every week as ourselves and FGR seem to have fallen behind a little bit. However with both the Daggers and Mark Cooper's Rovers' back to winning ways things are wide open again.
Our next match is a home game with Bromley on 21st January, before a HUGE away fixture at Tranmere Rovers.
The Daggers moved back into the play-off places on Monday and have a chance to take further advantage today when they travel to the EON Visual Media Stadium to face second-bottom North Ferriby United.
I'd expect Daggers to gain the three points today as Ferriby, managed by Steve Housham, have only scored 14 goals all season - the same as Daggers striker Ollie Hawkins!
That said though, North Ferriby aren't that bad a team. When we played them in September, we won comfortably 2-0 to move into 1st place in the table, but the Villagers had their moments and if we go there with a complaicent attitude we will be beaten.
With Lincoln and Barrow not in league action, today is the prefect chance to capitalise and move into 3rd, providing Forest Green drop points against Bromley.
The Daggers will be without Andre Boucaud, who is on international duty, meaning Scott Heard could fill in. I think that Daggers will just have too much for the Villagers and am going for a 3-0 win, even though Ferriby are quite good defensively.
Finally, good luck to Sutton United, Barrow, Eastleigh and Lincoln City in the FA Cup third round today. It's almost a year to the day since we played Everton at Goodison Park in the same competition, now we're playing in a tiny village in Hull!
There's two weeks until our next game after this so hopefully John Still's boys can put ourselves in good stead for that home game against Bromley.
COME ON YOU DAGGERS!
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.