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Harrogate Town News
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Opposition in Focus - Woking FC

We continue to cast an eye on new opponents we will be meeting in the 2019/20 season with a look at Woking FC who join Torquay in coming up from the National League South.

Fact File:
Founded: 1889
Ground: Kingfield Stadium
Capacity: 6,036
Manager: Alan Dowson
Chairman: Rosemary Johnson
2018/19: 2nd in National League South (Promoted via Play Offs)


Overview: After seeing their six year stay in non-league’s top flight come to an end with relegation in the 2017/18 season, Woking bounced back at the first attempt with victory in the Play-Offs.

The Cards, formed in1889, have a proud history in cup competitions having reached the Fourth Round of the FA Cup and taking on Everton in 1990/91, as well as holding the joint record for the most number of FA Trophy wins.

All three Trophy successes arrived in the 90’s, a great period for the club that also saw Woking’s first promotion to The Conference.

Town will be visiting Kingfield Stadium for the first time this season, where legendary commentator Martin Tyler currently occupies one of two Assistant Manager positions.

Manager

Alan Dowson took over as Woking Manager in May 2018 following The Cards relegation from the National League. Despite starting the season with just one contracted player and a whole host of other issues to be resolved both on and off the pitch, Dowson enjoyed a superb first season as boss, earning an immediate return to the National League with promotion via the play-offs. After finishing as runners-up to Torquay United, the Cards defeated Wealdstone and Welling in the post season competition to bounce back at the first attempt. As a player, Dowson made 55 appearances in the Football League between 1988 and 1993, before spending 13 years in non-league football with Slough Town, Gateshead and Walton & Hersham.

Key Players

Max Kretzschmar – Having also made the switch from Hampton & Richmond Borough with Alan Dowson, Max finished the last campaign as the club’s top scorer with 16 goals in all competitions. Kretzchmar will be key as Woking try and cement their place at National League level and will be desperate to continue his rich run of form.

Josh Casey – Casey also arrived at Woking with Dowson last summer from Hampton & Richmond Borough. Appointed as Captain almost immediately, the left-back was a key part of the successful 2018/19 squad, playing over 50 matches. His consistency was rewarded at the club’s end-of-season awards, with the defender claiming five awards.

One to Watch

Sam Howes – Having been released by Watford’s Academy at the end of last season, the 21-year-old goalkeeper has stated that this could be ‘the most important season of his career so far’. Upon signing for Woking earlier in June, Howes believes that the National League with be a massive learning curve, but is keen to test himself at this level.

by Isaac Martin