AFC Dunstable away day guide
There will be a crowd limit of 400 for this game, with admission available on the day at £10 for Adults and £5 for Concessions (over 65s & under 16s).
Test and trace requirements will be in place for this game and dictate that everyone entering the ground will need to provide full name and a contact number. These details will be held by AFC Dunstable for 21 days and then securely destroyed.
For anyone who wants to view AFC Dunstable's Risk Assessment and Covid requirements in more detail, this information is available from their website
Season preview by Ed Parlett
And so we go again. A mere 217 days after our last competitive fixture at Imperial Fields, we entertain Fisher in an FA Cup Preliminary round tie on Saturday 12th September to get the ball rolling. That we begin the season with a knockout fixture is just one of the oddities we must accept as non-league football slowly emerges from its period of hibernation.
As well as the usual summer comings and goings, there will be new routines and procedures to get used to but we trust that the efforts of our dedicated teams of stewards and volunteers will enable you to focus on the main reason we all gather - to support the team in their continued quest for glory, and what better way to begin than with a rousing south London derby?
The extended close-season has seen several notable departures from the club. Unlike last summer, when four of our graduates made the step up into the full-time ranks, only one of our current crop has made such a leap this time round; Hady Ghandour, having finished the last campaign on an extended trial at the Valley has signed for Charlton Athletic. Hady and his father were a popular pair at the Campus Society Stadium and will both be welcomed back as often as Charlton's fixtures will allow. We will watch his progress with interest and hope that he will become the latest south London youngster to make a significant impact at a higher level.
Another immensely popular player to depart the banks of the Wandle in the close season is Dominic Morgan-Griffiths. Dominic has been instrumental in our recent successes and has taken the chance to ply his trade at a higher level than we can currently offer by joining the ambitious Hartley Wintney and their bid for promotion to National League south.
Also leaving the club are fan favourites Danny Bassett and Sol Patterson-Bohner. Sol has been with us since 2015, and has been club captain for the last few seasons. He has joined the growing ranks of ex-Terrors down at Merstham. Danny, who was top-scorer in our last two campaigns has been on trial at Hampton & Richmond and seems set to make his mark at National League level, following his aborted move to Concord Rangers last summer.
But as old friends further their ambitions away from the club there are, as ever, plenty of new faces bidding to make their mark in the first team, along with several players who signed on at the back-end of the last truncated season whose progress we will monitor closely.
Heading the new signings are a pair of midfielders who have caught the eye in pre-season; Mark Waters came through the annual open trials and has already shown he has an eye for goal, netting in the friendlies against Three Bridges and Carshalton, as well as in the First Team v. U23 test match. He previously represented the Scottish Universities while studying north of the border, and has quickly struck up an understanding with fellow new-boy, Jake Rose. Jake came through the youth ranks at AFC Wimbledon and has been on a bit of a tour of south London turning out for Dulwich, Molesey and Hampton & Richmond since leaving the Dons.
Also showing an eye for goal in pre-season has been Kelvin Adjei who looks an excellent arrival from Ashford Town (Middlesex); with Daniel Williams (who scored in each of the last three games before the sudden abandonment) and the prolific Duncan Culley also battling for striking spots, we shouldn't be short of goals. Klajdi Cani also signed on at the back end of the last campaign, and will be in contention here, having scored the Terrors final goal in the 5-2 mauling of Hanwell - it turned out to be the last goal we would score for over five months!
James Shaw was a popular figure on and off the pitch last season, and was ever present between the posts in all league and cup outings. He faces competition for the number 1 jersey from new arrival Gary Ross who joins us from fellow promotion hopefuls Westfield. With Morgan Campbell also pressing his claims we won't be short of cover either - a nice problem for the managers to have!
Defensively, we welcome Sinn'Kaye Christie who joins us from Whitehawk. Competition for defensive spots looks like another fierce battle within the club, with Ermis Mezini looking very impressive in the few outings we saw before lockdown. The emerging Sahnoun twins look set to cause opposing teams all sorts of problems on the flanks and Daryl Coleman will don the Captain's armband for the season ahead; Daryl's experience and cool head will be beneficial for those around him as he showed when covering for Sol last season.
In fact, the biggest challenge the management team may face this coming season could be which players to leave out as they strive to find our best eleven. Along with those already mentioned, big things are expected from the likes of Jamarie Brissett, Kyrique-Garvey-Williams, George Ademiluyi and Ahkeem Belford who all made impressive strides in their development last season, as well as many others who are straining at the leash to show what they can do at first team level.
As we begin our third (or second, depending on how you view last season!) campaign in the south-central division, our aim must be - once again - to challenge for the play-offs at the very least. Our first season started slowly, yet finished on a high as our late charge toward the top fell just short of participation in the post-season matches; last time around, impressive runs in the two major cup competitions (as well as a frustrating succession of postponements) left us with games in hand which may have been enough to secure our place but for the sudden end. This time, hopefully, will be third time lucky.
The leading contenders from last season will be expecting to push their claims again; Ware will certainly be aiming for the title after leading the way for much of the last campaign; Bracknell Town shrugged off some indifferent early-season form to surge up the table after Christmas, and the likes of Hanwell, Westfield and Chertsey should be challenging. There is usually at least one surprise team who emerge from the mid-table pack to challenge - last season it was Uxbridge who may struggle to repeat that form this time around (particularly their away form which was very impressive); my feeling is Bedfont Sports may be worth keeping an eye on - they ended the season with a nice little run of form (including a win over us!) and with excellent facilities and a friendly set of fans, could be the dark horses of the division. Or you could find me in the vicinity of the Shak, wiping copious amounts of egg off my face. We shall see...
St Matthews Project to be charity partner for upcoming season
After a generous donation from fan Paul Cullen of £500, the club have chosen St Matthews Project to be a charity partner for the upcoming season with Pauls blessing. St Matthews Project offer structured Football for young players in South London and was created back in 2004 and originated in Brixton. The club has links with the St Matthews Project due to Ashley Bosah's involvement as a coach for several years. Club photographer has also been raising money for the project with sales of photos throughout last season.
The partnership will include a pitch side banner, inclusion in the website and a season long advert in the match day programme.
Founder Lee Dema
"Having close ties with such a famous and well-respected non-league club is a massive plus for SMP. The credible exit route it provides for us is also a key component in helping young players stay in football"
We look forward to working with ST Matthews Project for this coming season and would again like to thank Paul for his generous donation!