Our summer study of the clubs joining us in the National League for 2019/20 continues and today we’re focusing on another of the promoted outfits.
Nickname: The Cards
Who’s in charge?
Woking fans could perhaps be forgiven for being unsure when The Cards appointed Alan Dowson as the man to lead their National League South revival last summer.
The Gateshead-born gaffer was little known to many at the time he arrived to succeed Anthony Limbrick in the hotseat but he announced himself in real style – both on and off the pitch.
A former Bradford City and Darlington defender, Dowson not only set about plotting Woking’s route to promotion but he also endeared himself to the town, running the Surrey Half Marathon for Woking Hospice, meeting sponsors, keeping fans updated and supporting youth and women’s football.
Dowson was also supported by a familiar face (and Woking fan) in Martin Tyler who was named as Assistant Manager.
Indeed, Tyler raced back from Brighton to join Woking’s promotion celebrations after commentating on Manchester City’s Premier League title clinching win at Brighton on the final day.
How did they get here?
Woking’s dreadful form during the second half of 2017/18 saw them plummet down the National League table, with relegation confirmed on the final day thanks to a 2-1 home defeat to Dover Athletic.
Twelve months later the sorrow and long faces were replaced by joy and beaming grins as The Cards responded to their setback in the best manner possible by returning at the first attempt.
Having finished second in National League South to runaway champions Torquay United, Woking came from two goals down at home to Wealdstone to win through their dramatic play-off semi-final.
That booked them a place in the Promotion Final at Kingfield Stadium where they saw off Welling United, thanks to Armani Little’s goal three minutes before half-time.
Not only did the Surrey outfit prosper in the league, they also made some FA Cup headlines along the way when they made it through to the Third Round where they were beaten by Watford.
When did we last meet?
When Pools and Woking shared a division in 2017/18 it was the first time the two sides had ever locked horns in competitive action.
Pools enjoyed the better of the two National League contests, drawing 1-1 when the sides met at Kingfield Stadium in September 2017 before winning the return game at The Vic 3-2 five months later.
When do we play them?
The fixtures for the new National League season are due to be released on Wednesday 3rd July.
Where do they play?
Woking have played their home games at Kingfield Stadium since it 1921 which these days boasts a capacity of just over 6,000.
“Woking have bounced back brilliantly from their relegation a year ago and it was great to see them win the Promotion Final to seal their return to the National League. They’ve got a North East man in charge now in Alan Dowson and his passion is there for all to see – he’s done a magnificent job since taking over last summer. They’ll be hoping, like all promoted clubs, that they can maintain their momentum in to the new season and I would fancy them to be quite competitive in 2019/20.”