A busy summer of recruitment has seen Bostik League Premier new boys Dorking Wanderers more than double the size of its backroom coaching team.
It comes as the club prepares to take its place in the third tier of non-League football, at the same time as building deeper community roots as the town’s sole senior club and bringing football back to its traditional Dorking home of Meadowbank.
Manager Marc White will now be supported by more than twenty football staff with Wanderers expanding to field six teams in league competition.
The new recruits combine experience and enthusiasm as the club looks to achieve excellence and provide local development opportunities at all levels.
Dorking football legend Steve Lunn, a veteran of more than 300 senior appearances for the town, joins Wanderers as manager of the new development team in the Suburban League.
Lunn, who scored a 1991 FA Cup goal for the town against Peter Shilton’s Plymouth Argyle in the biggest game ever hosted at Meadowbank, will be tasked with developing players capable of progressing to represent Dorking at first team level.
“We know there are some really talented young players in the area,” he told the club`s official website. “And I’m looking forward to giving them the opportunity to achieve their potential playing with their local club at an excellent level, as well as supporting the first team by providing game time for those who need it and bringing on the fringe squad players.”
Lunn will be assisted by Simon Coffey, a well-known senior and youth coach in Dorking football, with many years of non-League playing experience in Surrey.
Jordan Clark and Alan Tate, who will run the new Dorking Wanderers academy when it opens next month, have increased their responsibilities to manage the under-18s in the prestigious Bostik Youth League.
Boys who have come through the thriving local community clubs will be trained by the experienced Academy coaches to take on the youth teams of some of the biggest clubs in the area, such as Sutton United and Woking.
Clark and Tate will be assisted by up and coming local coaches Gavin Morrison and Russell Harvey, who join the club after coaching Dorking under-18s to victory in the Southern Youth League Plate Final in May.
“We want Dorking Wanderers to be a place of opportunity and progress everywhere you look,” says Clark. “It’s not just about developing players in the academy and under-18s, we also want to bring on the next generation of coaches for the town – committed coaches in their 20s, like Gavin and Russell who have been around the Dorking football scene all their lives and can look to fulfil their potential with their home-town club.”
Another coaching newcomer will take charge of the Dorking Wanderers Ladies team. Ben Eltham is well-known to football enthusiasts in Surrey as the voice of the hugely-successful and respected online radio programme, `Back of the Net`.
Keen to develop a parallel career at the sharp end of football, Ben will manage the Ladies in their inaugural season, determined to create a women’s squad to match the success of their male counterparts. As a statement of intent, the team has been entered straight into the women’s football pyramid in the highly competitive South-East Counties Women’s League where they will face opponents from some of the best clubs in Surrey, Sussex and Kent. Eltham will be assisted by Kat Brown and Joe Morrissey.
A key appointment to the Wanderers backroom team comes with the arrival of UEFA B licensed coach Nick Torpey, who takes on the newly created role of head of coaching.
Torpey is another Dorking veteran with more than 300 senior football appearances in the town and is a popular figure on the local football scene, well-known for passing on his knowledge of the game to senior and youth teams with a trademark enthusiastic style.
With Wanderers having more squads, players and coaches than ever before, Torpey will work across all teams to ensure a consistency in coaching standards, approach and playing philosophy at all levels.
First team manager and chairman Marc White is delighted with the club’s coaching recruitment.
He said: “This season sees unprecedented expansion for football in Dorking, taking steps to compete with some of the biggest non-League towns in the South of England. But there’s no point expanding if it just dilutes the standards and success we’ve had. So, it’s fantastic to have so many talented staff coming in to the club – some highly experienced and others hungry for opportunities, but all of them determined to do things the right way, sharing our vision for Dorking Wanderers and the future of football in the town.
“We’ve got a hugely demanding, but fantastically exciting season ahead. The coaching team here has all the right people now to meet those demands.”
As previously announced, White has also shuffled his first team back room staff for the challenges of the debut Bostik Premier campaign.
Dean Milton is promoted to assistant-manager with Tom Duke becoming head coach. Club captain Chris Boulter becomes player/assistant coach, working alongside the goalkeeping coach Tony Prime, fitness coach Karen Marshall and physio Grant Steele.
The new senior club set up is completed by former first-team coaches Ollie O’Boyle and Martin Beard, who will manage the thriving Veterans team.
— Dorking Wanderers FC (@DorkingWDRS) July 11, 2017