What fortunes for the departed Daggers

CAST your minds back to May 2009 when Dagenham & Redbridge were just one game away from making the League Two play-offs.

by MIKE SIMMONDS

CAST your minds back to May 2009 when Dagenham & Redbridge were just one game away from making the League Two play-offs.

A home match with Shrewsbury Town took on the ultimate winner-takes-all mantle, with the victors ensured of a place in the end of season lottery.

We all know what happened next, as the Shrews went 2-0 up in the first half, and despite Paul Benson pulling one back early in the second period, the visitors held on to break Daggers' hearts.


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Many of the home supporters that day would have dreamed the team that John Still had in place would all remain to fight for promotion the following season, but unfortunately the harsh reality ensued over the summer, and into the current 2009/10 season.

Of the starting eleven, only Tony Roberts, Mark Arber, Peter Gain and Benson remain at the club, with the other seven tempted by the bright lights of higher leagues, while from the substitutes, only Jon Nurse and Anwar Uddin are still at Victoria Road.

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The Post takes a look at what has happened to the players who have moved on to pastures new and evaluates how their fortunes have faired.

SOLOMON TAIWO

Cardiff City (�200,000)

Appearances: 1 (4) - Goals: 0

AFTER running the show against Cardiff in Daggers' League Cup tie earlier in the season, the Welsh giants were quick to secure the midfielder's signature.

The move hasn't gone exactly how Taiwo would have hoped though, as he has been kept mainly on the bench.

He gained his first start in the 2-0 home defeat against QPR, but was hauled off after 54 minutes, and has made just four substitute appearances since.

His last action was the 3-2 defeat at Swansea on November 7 and he has had a watching brief since then.

Boss Dave Jones is an experienced manager though and won't be rushing him in the Championship.

"He's done the rounds in non-league, earned a break in professional football with Dagenham and made the most of it to get a move to us," he said on signing the 24-year-old.

"I mean no disrespect to Dagenham, but Solomon now has the chance to improve his game with better players around him."

SCOTT GRIFFITHS

Peterborough United (loan)

Appearances: 9 (0) - Goals: 0

A STALWART at Daggers over recent seasons despite only being 24 years of age, the highly-rated full back finally got his move back in October.

Teaming up with former Daggers Craig Mackail-Smith, Dominic Green and Shaun Batt at London Road, Griffiths broke into the team for the 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United and hasn't looked back.

Since he moved, manager Darren Ferguson has been replaced by Mark Cooper, but that won't stop the transfer being made permanent later this month.

Griffiths has played at Portman Road and the Hawthorns so far, but his biggest game was the FA Cup third round clash at White Hart Lane last Saturday, although he couldn't couldn't prevent Spurs from cantering to a 4-0 triumph.

MAGNUS OKUONGHAE

Colchester United (�45,000)

Appearances: 28 (0) - Goals: 0

THE imposing central defender has been a model of consistency for his new club after moving in the summer.

Life couldn't have got off to a better start with a thumping 7-1 triumph at Norwich on the opening day and Colchester have continued to impress, climbing to fourth in the table.

Any FA Cup dreams were soundly put to bed at the weekend though as the U's were hammered 7-0 by Preston, where Okuonghae also gave away a penalty.

But the 23-year-old, who was crowned Daggers Supporter's Player of the Year, looks to have made the transition to League One and recently signed a new two-and-a-half-year deal.

Colchester manager Aidy Boothroyd told the club's website: "I think we have a future star on our hands.

"He is in the right place to develop and grow his career.

"He has got all of the raw ingredients to be a top player and he now needs to gain the experience of playing.

"He is getting better as the season goes on."

Okuonghae's progress will only help Daggers too, as they receive �5,000 for every 15 games he plays up until 60 matches, meaning they are just two off another payment.

They also negotiated a �15,000 sum if Colchester go up this season or next and a 20 per cent sell-on clause.

SAM SAUNDERS

Brentford (free transfer)

Appearances: 13 (8) - Goals: 0

BEGAN the new season with plenty of promise as he started the opening eight games, but has since fallen out of favour at Griffin Park and has yet to find the net for his new club.

Despite taking the field for the FA Cup clash with Gateshead, Saunders hasn't started a league match since the 0-0 draw at Hartlepool on October 9.

Could well be moving clubs in January too as Bees manager Andy Scott admitted he made some mistakes in his summer transfer dealings, but the winger wants to stay, saying: "I want to play for Brentford. That's what my plans were when I signed and they still are.

"I want to be part of this club and hopefully I can do that. I've been left out recently, and I'm not happy.

"We've spoken on numerous occasions, like he does with all his players. I'm not pushing the panic button yet."

BEN STREVENS

Brentford (free transfer)

Appearances: 11 (1) - Goals: 3

His career at Brentford got off to the worst possible start as he broke his leg in pre-season and missed the opening two months.

Made his return in the FA Cup at Gateshead in November and scored his first goal in the replay a fortnight later.

Strevens hasn't been prolific in front of goal yet, with just three strikes to his name, but did net the winner at Gillingham on Boxing Day and appears to be Andy Scott's preferred choice up front.

DANNY FOSTER

Brentford (free transfer)

Appearances: 24 (1) - Goals: 0

SLIPPED into League One football with the minimum of fuss as he has proved a reliable signing for the Bees.

Started 19 of the possible 24 league fixtures to date, and has proven his versatility too, as he has played both right back and left back.

MATT RITCHIE

Portsmouth (loan ended)

ONE OF the stars of last season, as expected the young winger was sent on loan to Notts County at the start of this campaign.

Since a brace of goals against Northampton in his second game, he has failed to hit the prolific heights he enjoyed at Victoria Road though.

Went 10 games without scoring for County until he was on target at Bury, but is interesting Daggers again after ending his loan spell at Meadow Lane in January.

GLEN SOUTHAM

(mutual consent)

AN UNUSED substitute in the Shrews defeat, Southam joined Hereford United, making nine appearances, before he left Edgar Street, also by mutual consent.

Now back at the club where he made his name, Bishop's Stortford, and played the full 90 minutes as they went down 2-0 to Braintree Town in Blue Square South action on New Year's Day.

JAMIE GUY

Colchester (loan ended)

Came on as substitute in the match against Shrewsbury and has since found his career stalling somewhat.

Shipped out on loan to Port Vale, where he made six substitute appearances without scoring earlier this season.

The Post is now on Twitter, so if you follow twitter.com/Post_DagRed then you will get up to the minute updates on goings on at Victoria Road

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