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In Opposition: Dagenham & Redbridge

19 June 2017

The Chigwell Construction Stadium
Dagenham & Redbridge play at The Chigwell Construction Stadium

We turn our attentions to The Daggers as the summer study of Pools' opposition in the National League for 2017/18 continues.

Formed: 1992
The Daggers
Red & Blue Stripes/Blue/Blue

Who’s in charge?
John Still returned to Dagenham & Redbridge in December having previously been in charge between 1992 and 1994, as well as between 2004 and 2013.

The vastly-experienced boss has been patrolling dugouts since the 1970s and, despite being unable to save The Daggers from relegation, he was kept on to lead the comeback.

His knowledge of the non-league scene will be a big benefit to Dagenham as they build for next term, with his ability to pick and develop players helping to become one of the most respected coaches in the lower divisions.

How did they get on last season?
After being relegated from League Two at the end of 2015/16, Dagenham & Redbridge were desperately unlucky not to make an instant return to the EFL last season.

With popular veteran manager John Still pulling the strings at Victoria Road, The Daggers enjoyed a fantastic opening to the campaign and were top of the pile by the end of September.

However, they couldn’t quite keep pace with Lincoln City and Tranmere Rovers so had to make do with a play-off spot, where they were edged out over two legs by Forest Green who went on to secure promotion.

When did we last meet?
We haven’t met that many times over the years but, of course, our last meeting was pretty recently given that we shared a division in 2015/16.

Pools did the double over The Daggers that year, winning 1-0 at Victoria Road in October 2015 thanks to a Billy Paynter header and the followed-that up with a 3-1 triumph back at The Vic in March 2016.

In total we’ve played each other nine times and Pools have the edge, having won five times in comparison to Dagenham’s three triumphs.

Where do they play?
Victoria Road was built in 1917 and has been home to Dagenham & Redbridge since their inception in 1992. It currently has a capacity of just over 6,000.

When do we play them?
The National League fixtures are due to be released at 1pm on Wednesday 5th July.

Inside View
Mark Carruthers of gives us his take on The Daggers prospects…

“I genuinely thought everything was in place for Dagenham & Redbridge to make an immediate return to the EFL last season.

“They have an outstanding manager in John Still, someone that knows the non-league game inside-out.

“They have a very talented squad with the likes of striker Oliver Hawkins and the exciting Corey Whitley both catching the eye last season.

“In fact, when I saw them win at York City last November I was convinced I had seen a side that would be playing in League Two this season.

“A play-off semi-final defeat against eventual winners Forest Green Rovers ended their hopes of securing a return to the EFL, just twelve months after their relegation.

“John Still has enough experience and know-how to know where they need to strengthen ahead of this season. And he has made some impressive new additions.

“Despite EFL interest, Still beat a number of clubs to sign Boreham Wood striker Morgan Ferrier.  He caught the eye during the Wood’s 2-2 FA Cup First Round draw against Notts County, with his goal and overall performance leading to a number of clubs taking an interest in securing his services.

“Ferrier’s former Boreham Wood team mate Ben Nunn has also joined the club, a smart addition and a player who I think will fit in nicely with the Daggers.

“Still also brought in highly-experienced defender Bondz N’Gala, a former winner of the National League during his time with Barnet.

“There will be more additions and with their squad nicely taking shape, and the leadership they get from their manager, I can see the Daggers being there or thereabouts when it comes to challenging for the National League title come the end of the season.”

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