the daggers voice
So much has been going on at the club in recent times that it would be easy to overlook the departure of defender Scott Doe, but that would be unfair to a man who devoted so much to the club during his two spells here.
In a time where we had barely digested the financially-motivated sales of Morgan Ferrier and Sam Ling, two of six players who we vitally needed off the wage bill, Scott Doe leaving by mutual consent was low on the priority list of Daggers fans, who had to cope with the news that our much-adored club was under threat due to the untimely resignation of director Glyn Hopkin.
That, coupled with fluctuating form which in hindsight seems perfectly natural given the situation, meant that the future of the club had been compromised and if losing a few players could help our cause - regardless of how important they were - then it would be worthwhile. That too applies to Scott Doe, who cited personal problems as the catalyst for his exit and has since joined Whitehawk FC, and then Boreham Wood.
Though his departure will have less of an impact than someone such as Morgan Ferrier, it leaves the Daggers with very limited defensive options and after 327 appearances over seven years for the club, this was an unceremonious exit which given Doe's immense commitment and dedication to the shirt, was not deserved. Sadly, his last appearance in a Daggers shirt was our away game at Sutton, a poor error-packed display not befitting of a club legend.
Ultimately, though, that is not what Doe will be remembered as. Mistakes aside, it was the determined, valiant and committed displays that will define him as part of the club's folklore. It was that performance against Rotherham at Wembley, which perfectly underlined his future leadership qualities and eventually culminated in the centre-back captaining us to a fourth-place finish last campaign, some seven years later, although injury partially restricted his contribution there.
At the Daggers, Doe transformed from a young 20 year-old to an experienced and reliable figure at the heart of our defence where he established himself as a mainstay. At times he perfectly embodied the Daggers mentality with several stand-out performances, demonstrating passion and responsibility on the pitch. It is a testament to his playing style that a manager like John Still, astute at recognising and developing a talented player, brought him to the club not only once, but twice.
Of course though, just because a key member of the club's recent history has exited, doesn't mean he should be naturally praised. Just like every important player, there are many disappointing moments too, but that's to be expected as a lower-league footballer. Doe is no different but overall the good outweighs the bad, for every penalty conceded there was a tremendous goal-line clearance, for every own goal an equally-important one at the other end and, for every underwhelming performance, there was an excellent, composed one to more than make up for it. It was those that made his poor showings easier to accept.
Sadly, those kinds of displays were more prominent this season, and will be a lot fresher in our minds than the performances he deserved to truly represent him. Everybody was delighted when his return, along with Luke Howell, sparked the start of a mass rebuild that eventually formed the foundations for our team which made the play-off semi-finals. It was that kind of team reconstruction that offers fans hope in our current situation as we know that under John Still, we can still find ourselves with a squad able to compete next season, though that's barely conceivable at the minute.
So not only does Scott Doe's exit leave us with a defensive hole currently, but also marks the official dispersion of our 2010 play-off winning squad. It does feel like the end of an era, with a rare breed of Dagger having gone, but one that hopefully won't be extinct. However soon we may be looking at the next Scott Doe, so onwards and upwards, let's look to the future. After all, there's little room for loyalty in football anymore nowadays.
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.