Christian Doidge thankful for Dagenham & Redbridge spell ahead of Victoria Road return
PUBLISHED: 18:00 09 March 2017
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Welshman heads back to Daggers this weekend with current club Forest Green Rovers
Striker Christian Doidge says he has many fond memories from his time at Dagenham & Redbridge as he prepares to return to the Essex club this weekend.
The Welshman left when his contract expired last summer to join National League rivals Forest Green Rovers, who visit Victoria Road this weekend.
And though the 24-year-old says it will be strictly business for 90 minutes from 3pm this weekend, he says he will always be thankful for the chance that Daggers gave him.
“I have lots of good memories from my time with Dagenham and I met plenty of good people there,” said Doidge.
“It’s defintiely a place I’m looking forward to going back too. It was a time full of new experiences, like living away from home and training every day which helped me develop.
“There were some great professionals there too who had great careers, so it was good for me to learn from them.”
Since leaving Daggers in the summer, Doidge has been in prolific form for Forest Green, leading the club’s scoring charts.
In his last 19 games, the target man has 16 goals which has seen him rocket into contention for the league’s golden boot.
Daggers will be doing their best to prevent Doidge from adding to that tally, but the striker knows there is no room for sentiment.
“It’s a big game between two sides who are both up there near the top at the business end of the season,” he added.
“I loved my time with the club, but I’m playing for Forest Green now, so of course I want to score on Saturday. In an ideal world, we would win the title and hopefully then Daggers would win promotion through the play-offs.”
Daggers also have their own hotshot in Oliver Hawkins, who like Doidge also has 18 goals so far in the league this season.
Doidge spent the final six months of his Daggers career training alongside Hawkins, who joined in January 2016 from Hemel Hempstead Town of the National League South.
Hawkins, who is also 24 years old, struggled for game time with Daggers last season and also struggled to impress, but Doidge says he is not surprised that his former team-mate is now proving just how good he is.
“John brought Oliver in last season and believed in him, but didn’t really get a chance,” added the Welshman.
“Now he’s playing regualrly, he is showing his talent and he’s got a lot of goals, but it’s not just about scoring.
“He’s got a good workrate, is good in the air and is linking up well with his team-mates in the final third.”
In the battle between two of the league’s top strikers, Daggers hope it is their present, not past, that comes out on top.