In the spotlight: Dagenham & Redbridge

Fact File

Full Name: Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club

Year Formed: 1992

Nickname: The Daggers

Stadium: Victoria Road

Capacity: 6,078

2021/22 Finish: Eighth in the National League

Review of the 2021/22 season

Dagenham & Redbridge started the season as one of the league’s pacesetters but a poor run of games at the end of September/early October threatened to derail their good start. Inconsistency through the middle of the season saw the Daggers begin to lose ground in not only the title race but also the play-offs. Daryl McMahon’s side were excelling in the FA Trophy, though. However, their run came to an end at the quarter-final stage as they lost on penalties to York City. This seemed to light a fire within Dagenham as they provided a carbon copy of their end of season form from the 2020/21 campaign. Three losses in their last 13 games wasn’t enough as they finished one place outside the National League play-offs – just one point behind the Spireites.

Manager – Daryl McMahon

Daryl McMahon had a 13-year career as a professional footballer, which included caps for the Republic of Ireland team at U16/U17/U18 level. His managerial career began whilst still playing for Ebbsfleet United in 2014 as he took charge on a temporary basis. The midfielder won two out of his three games and returned a year later after a playing stint at Boreham Wood as the permanent manager. He recorded two consecutive second-placed finishes in the National League South – winning the play-offs at the second attempt with a 2-1 victory over Chelmsford City in the final. The Fleet would qualify for the National League play-offs at the first attempt but fall to Tranmere Rovers in the semi-final. McMahon left the club by mutual consent in November of 2018 and would make his return to management nine months later with Macclesfield Town. A short stint at Moss Rose followed as the club struggled both on and off the pitch. Within a day of his exit, the 38-year-old joined Dagenham & Redbridge. McMahon has picked up three Manager of the Month awards since joining the Daggers and has improved the club’s league position over the last two years.

Daryl McMahon

Star Player – Paul McCallum

Paul McCallum is just about to enter his third season as a Dagenham & Redbridge player and anyone that follows the National League will know how deadly he can be in front of goal. He has spent the majority of his career in England’s fifth tier with his breakout season coming for Eastleigh in 2018/19 as he scored 27 league goals. A spell at Solihull Moors didn’t provide similar numbers and a move to Dagenham was complete in August 2020. McCallum reminded the National League of how deadly he could be as bagged 18 goals in 39 appearances. A further 20 strikes in 39 games in the 2021/22 season brought about another successful campaign for the forward as the Daggers just missed out on the play-offs.

Paul McCallum

Overall Head-to-head Record

P17   W6   D8  L3

Games between Chesterfield and Dagenham & Redbridge have always been closely contested – the first meeting of the 2021/22 season was no different. Goals from Jamie Grimes and Kabongo Tshimanga brought the Spireites from 2-0 down to gain a well-earned point from Victoria Road. The Blues would have to fight back from a deficit in the reverse fixture after Josh Walker gave the Daggers a first-half lead. However, two penalties from Tshimanga either side of half time sent the majority of the Technique Stadium home happy.

Played for both – Saidou Khan

In March of 2021, Saidou Khan joined Dagenham & Redbridge on loan from National League South side Maidstone United. The midfielder had impressed with the Stones and was awarded with a chance in the National League. He failed to score in his 11 appearances whilst on loan at Victoria Road, but he was soon given a permanent chance to prove himself in England’s fifth tier. Khan joined Chesterfield from Maidstone ahead of the 2021/22 season and he made an immediate impact, scoring in the Spireites’ 2-0 home victory against Wealdstone. The 26-year-old scored seven goals in 41appearances – including an outrageous goal against Woking which secured the 2021/22 Goal of the Season – as the Blues made the National League play-off semi-finals. Khan got his move to the Football league recently as Swindon Town secured the services of the Gambian..