Dagenham & Redbridge: Joe White wants to maintain upward trajectory on Hartlepool United trip

PUBLISHED: 16:00 07 September 2017

Joe White of Dagenham & Redbridge and Theo Vassell of Gateshead (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Joe White of Dagenham & Redbridge and Theo Vassell of Gateshead (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Daggers teenager has enjoyed a stellar past 12 months, but wants to keep on improving

Joe White (right) is congratulated after scoring for Dagenham & Redbridge against Gateshead (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo) Joe White (right) is congratulated after scoring for Dagenham & Redbridge against Gateshead (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Joe White must be pinching himself after his meteoric rise with Dagenham & Redbridge over the past 12 months.

This time last year, the teenager was impressing for Daggers’ youth team, but has enjoyed rapid progress that culminated in scoring his first goal for the club on his first start for the senior team in a 3-1 win at home to Gateshead on Saturday.

After making his Daggers debut in the FA Cup first round at Halifax Town last October, White spent the back end of last season on loan at Wealdstone, netting five times.

White returned to Victoria Road in the summer and signed a three-year contract extension on Thursday, just two days before netting his first club goal to open the scoring in that National League victory over Gateshead.

And with a trip to Hartlepool United to come on Saturday, the teenage forward is keen to continue his upward trajectory over the coming weeks.

“I’ve noticed the step up in quality at this level, it’s a lot more demanding,” he said.

“When I was on loan at Wealdstone last season, I got a taste of men’s football. I really enjoyed it, but I won’t lie and I struggled in the first few games. In the end, I started scoring goals and it was good.

“People are going to be stronger than me, I’m a young boy, but I’ve just got to keep working hard in the gym to get stronger, as well as fitter on the pitch.”

White’s progress has clearly impressed the coaching staff at Victoria Road, who all speak highly of the youngster, who became the first academy product in almost two years to score for the senior side on Saturday.

After White signed his new deal last week, Daggers boss John Still said he was only too happy to reward the teenager for his hard work over the last year.

But the striker himself admits that he owes a lot of his rapid development to his manager.

“I’m learning a lot under the gaffer and from the coaching staff at the club,” he added.

“I just want to keep learning because I’m still young. I’m thankful for getting the chance on Saturday and hopefully I did well enough to keep my place in the team.”

The future certainly looks bright for both Daggers and the youngster as White looks to make the most of any chances he gets in the first team during the campaign.

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