This Blog is the second half of the player review, concluding the final twenty players to don the famous shirt of Dagenham this season. I hope you enjoy my account of this bunch, if you disagree with some of my decisions, feel free to leave a comment below where you can discuss with fellow supporters. The first player up is Billy Bingham...
Peter Gain – Peter Gain’s season has been a story of injury, much like that of Billy Bingham. He has somehow managed to muster 24 appearances this season, but ultimately his proneness to injuries and the depth in midfield has seen him released, much to my disappointment. When he has played he’s been that player we all know and love, gritty determination and never shy of a challenge or confrontation. Gainy is a top quality player and a top personality as well, wherever he may be next season (which may yet still be at Victoria Road), I wish him the best of luck.
Luke Howell – At first Luke Howell wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, however just as we were getting to like the dynamic midfielder he picked up an injury at Hereford which kept him out for around 6 months, ruining his season like a host of other players. Since his comeback though he’s been sensational and one of our best players, an all action midfielder who gets around the park he’s exactly what our side was crying out for towards the later end of the season and his reappearance really helped in our fight against relegation. I reckon he’ll be a starter next season.
Danny J Green – This season was touted by many as DJ’s breakthrough, but ultimately that didn’t happen. A string of below average performances at the start of the campaign saw DJ out of the side for a while where he ultimately “enjoyed” a few loan spells before coming back for the last game of the season. Just as everyone thought his Daggers career may have been over he put in a fantastic 45 minute performance which once again showed everyone why he was once rated so highly. I’m not waxing lyrical about him this time, but he’s definitely one to watch out for.
Medy Elito – Medy has been a crowd divider throughout his time at Victoria Road and that appeared once more this season when several believed he wasn’t cut out for the job. However with a string of impressive performances towards the end of the season, the lightweight former Colchester man has proved his worth, popping up with several valuable goals and runs down the wing that have tormented defences. I hope he can continue to exploit pitch dimensions up and down the land next season and improve on his good end of season form. One of his best performances came against Morecambe where he played in a more central role and I’m sure that a certain member of our fan base will be willing for that to be his position next season as well.
Gavin Tomlin – I’m afraid that it’s just not going to work for Gavin at Dagenham & Redbridge. The pre season king has once again failed to cut it for the Daggers with several below par performances, even if he has contributed a number of assists. His time was up after “that” magnificent run against Bath in the FA Cup where he finished it off with an absolutely appalling shot that really told everyone he wouldn’t have a future here.
Damien Scannell – Damien was a frequently disappointing player as I felt he had what it took to be a good player for us, however his poor fitness shone through and he decided to take a supposed nice pay check at Eastleigh in favour of fighting for his place with us. I imagine he’ll be remembered not too fondly by Daggers fans, my lasting memory of him though will be his fantastic goal against Swindon in League One last season.
Ben Reeves – Beavis (and or) Butthead looked like a very promising player in his time on loan here from Southampton, but once again he didn’t really fit the team and as a result only played five games making a very minimal contribution due to not having enough of the ball.
Dominic Green – Dom was re-signed at the beginning of September and has shown what he is capable of, but only in small glimpses. Like many others, his season has been injury interrupted; hopefully he’ll play a more key role in the next campaign when his fitness should be 100%.
Josh Parker – One of the best loan players this season for me, Josh made a telling contribution following his loan move from Oldham in the later end of the season. Despite picking up an injury (where have I heard that one before), his pace and trickery endeared him to the Daggers fans, with a particular first half performance at Underhill sticking out in my memory. A very good player who I wish the very best to in the future, hopefully he doesn’t miss any more coaches on a match day though.
Jon Nurse – I will forever by indebted to Jon Nurse, but this season has been quite poor from the Daggers’ Wembley hero. A string of below average performances have seen him go under the spotlight more the once, this may have been due to the heavy workload he sustained, not being given a rest through the majority of the season. Jon is a fantastic guy and he always plays with a smile on his face but I have to admit I wasn’t at all surprised when I saw he had been released. This season I just feel that he lacked a telling contribution and his deliveries when playing wide were very poor; I wish him the best of luck in the future whether it be away from Victoria Road or not.
Jake Reed – This was a lad who promised so much following a friendly against Stevenage in pre season, but ultimately due to injuries and other circumstances has failed to deliver in his first league season. It’s only early days though and the energetic forward will surely become a fans favourite in years to come, I think a loan spell may well be in order for him next season.
Sam Williams – Sam was a player that excited me in his brief few months of the campaign before he got injured; a summer signing from Yeovil, he proved to be very adept in the air and as a result scored three in twelve games. Just as it looked like he was going to go on a streak, he got himself injured against Crewe, an injury that ruled him out for the rest of the season. A good hold up man and someone who I believe is capable of scoring 10+ a season, hopefully he’ll return even better for next season.
Josh Scott - This season has finally seen Josh return to playing following nearly 18 months out for various reasons. His presence has been missed, however we’re yet to see the best of him with fitness clearly lacking. Hopefully with a full pre season under his belt Josh will be able to be the player that we all know he’s capable of being next season.
Troy Hewitt – QPR loanee Troy was brought in to play alongside Sam Williams, unfortunately the day after he was signed, his new partner Sam got an injury that ruled him out for the season. Hewitt is a very quick player but wasn’t really able to find his feet here in seven games, he did however look very promising against Crawley which is my lasting memory.
Cristian Montano – Yet another West Ham loan player, Montano proved a hit with Daggers fans scoring goals against Southend & relegation rivals Barnet in his stint here. Unfortunately though that love wore away following what some perceived as lack of effort, his performances dually dropped off and as a result he was called back to West Ham. I personally thought he played best with Josh Scott, unfortunately though that only happened once.
Adam Cunnington - Cunnington was signed in November from Kettering and given an immediate debut in challenging circumstances away at Accrington. In truth we are yet to see the best from Adam; however we've seen glimpses with displays at Oxford in particular standing out. One thing that has disappointed me is that he hasn't yet been given the chance to start at Victoria Road, something which I feel would have been very beneficial to him.
Brian Woodall – Brian is quite possibly the next gem that has been found by John Still. A signing from Gresley, he was thrust into the side from the start following a glut of injuries. After a slow beginning he found his feet in the FA Cup against Bath and since then he hasn’t really looked back. He always gives 110% and has a knack of scoring vital goals at the right times in games, next season could really be something special for Woodall; one thing is for certain though and that’s that he’ll have the fans backing 100%.
That concludes the player review for this season; I hope you’ve enjoyed it. We still have more to come over the close season though, starting with a match report from Wembley on the League Two Play Off Final this coming Sunday. We will then indulge you with my top 10/12 games of the season before rounding it all off with a look back at my pre season predictions for League Two.
Our special interview will now be conducted towards the start of next season following a brief discussion so that’s something for you all to look forward to in the future.