the daggers voice
On Thursday evening Dagenham & Redbridge hosted a Fans' Forum with Paul Gwinn, Glyn Hopkin, Steve Thompson and John Still in attendance. The event lasted approximately 90 minutes and was attended by around 60 people in the clubhouse hall, with questions varying from off to on-pitch issues. A summary of all is below.
After successful pre-season trips to Spain and Holland in the last three years, the Daggers will be embarking on another European adventure - this time to Portugal - when they travel to Portugal for a training camp when pre-season is over, it was revealed. Unsurprising, this generated a lot of excitement and John Still said that people are welcome to travel up to watch training. They are also trying to arrange a match during the trip. Lots of people had fantastic experiences during the last two so hopefully this is no different, and I'm sure details will be finalised.
POTENTIAL BURY ROAD STAND
The new 30-year ground lease, coupled with the increasing investment of Glyn Hopkin, has led to the potential for a stand where the Bury Road terrace currently stands. It was revealed that the club have been in talks with architects over what this would do to the ground layout and also in regard to turnstiles and space, although it was also said that work would not be done until the end of the 2017/18 season at least. It goes to show the progress that has been made, and hopefully will continue to be made, under Glyn Hopkin.
Summary of other topics:
Another topic asked about was the West Ham u23 Agreement whereby West Ham were allowed to use our pitch for their Premier League B games. When asked about whether this would continue next season, most of the panel said that they were unsure. It was also revealed that Dagenham asked the Hammers if they would be willing to employ some of their groundsmen to maintain our pitch, although despite it being by all accounts a good offer, it was a resounding no.
Elsewhere, on one of the rare occasions when matters on the pitch were discussed, John Still gave an insight into our injuries this season. He said that to be where we are was a remarkable achievement and that he's delighted that players are coming back now. He also told us that Hawkins is unlikely to play both games against Eastleigh and Lincoln, while Okenabirhie is likely to be out for the rest of the season.
There was a few questions regarding the Traditional Builders Stand. One person asked whether the home fans would be allowed in the stand all of next season while several others spoke about the trouble that has happened this season. Thompson said that, if we were to come back up, we would revert back to the Combo-style tickets and that, whatever happens, the season ticket prices will be frozen. John Still commented that the support from that area has been fantastic and that it generates more noise and can help spur on the team.
So overall I thought it was a very productive evening that hopefully improved relations amongst supporters. Many people thought that it was pointless to have a forum at this point in the season however I found it very interesting, with many new topics emerging.
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.