Dorking Wanderers – The Rise to the National League play-offs

If you were to look at the National League South table at the start of this season, you’d of been forgiven for wondering just who Dorking Wanderers are.

But their rise up the non-league football and into the play-offs of the National League South has been extraordinary, and one man has been there for it all.

Marc White founded Dorking with a few mates back in 1999, and 11 promotions later, he is managing the side who are three games away from the National League.

So what are Marc’s hopes for the play-offs?

”I think coming back playing with a few weeks notice after 16 weeks off is going to be a real leveller,” White said ahead of his sides game against Bath.

As with all the teams in the National League play-offs, White’s side have had a different preparation experience to what they’re used to.

”We’ve had a schedule, I’ve been calling it a shotgun schedule,” White explained.

“It’s been three times a week and we’ve had a strength and conditioning coach who’s been tasked with trying to find the sweet spot of getting the players match fit.”

The priority of everyone during this difficult time is the safety of the players and staff, and White understands the importance of the rigorous testing.

“Ultimately we’ve been really lucky that our sponsors have renewed and fans have bought season tickets for next year which has allowed us to pay for this testing.

”We are just really lucky that to have these people around, this combination of supporters and owners putting more money in during this difficult time,” White added.

Dorking and there fans may be just three games away from Step 5 of the Football Pyramid, but the clubs hierarchy are keeping focussed on the future, despite the uncertainty.

”I think we’ve just been putting blind faith in the plan of the government, but we are relatively confident of a September start,” White told us.

“But with the FA already reducing the prize money for the FA Cup and Trophy, there is going to be impacts financially.

”It is just a bizarre situation which I hope we never have to deal with ever again,” he added.

Football is facing a period of uncertainty following the fall-out of Covid-19, but White is certain of where he wants his club to end up.

”Well if we continue at the rate we’ve been going with a promotion every other season, we will be in the Premier League in ten years,” White laughed.

“I think with everything the higher we go the more money we have to spend and the harder it is, but we have that support from the fans and they’re truly the back-bone of non-league football.

”But obviously I’d love to see us in the Football League!”

So who knows what will happen over the next few weeks, but the future of Dorking Wanderers is bright despite the uncertainty.





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