IF YOU were at The Laithwaite Community Stadium for Woking’s recent home encounters with Eastleigh and Notts County, you may have noticed a film crew in action.

And if you were particularly conspicuous, you may just end up on Dutch television.

Margriet van der Linden sits down with Cards boss Alan Dowson to talk about men in semi-professional football

Margriet van der Linden, a well-known talk show host from the Netherlands, spent almost a week in the closest confines of Woking FC’s management and players creating a documentary that will air in her country next month.

It will be part of a series focusing on men, and this particular episode will look at the sub-culture of football.

In an exclusive interview with the News & Mail prior to the Notts County fixture, van der Linden explained why she came to Woking.

A film crew captures a few shots at the Laithwaite Community Stadium through the rain

She said: “It’s a global documentary – not focused on the Netherlands – and so, to me, when you think about going abroad, of course you go to England.

“We wanted to find a club like this – one that’s semi-professional, with a lot of volunteers, energy, sadness, the works. And if you look around, it’s all here.

“This is about a group of men in a team; the dynamics, the frustration, the joy. What is it that is so fascinating about it? You can even smell it – it’s a special smell.”

Despite being in Woking for only a matter of days, van der Linden has already built up an affinity for the Cards, and has relished seeing football stripped of its elite-level trimmings.

“What is so special about this club is how quickly you feel involved,” she said. “I love them already and I really want them to win.”

For the full story get the 7 November edition of the News & Mail

It’s been a stunning start for Westfield in their second season in the BetVictor Isthmian South Central Division.

Six wins out of eight and sitting second in the league – having had spells in the top spot – marks them out as serious contenders for promotion to the third tier of non-league football.

The Westfield FC team

For chairman Steve Perkins, his side’s form under boss Tony Reid has not been a surprise and he is planning accordingly.

He told the News & Mail: “Obviously you don’t just get to the end of the season and then think about what you have to do off the pitch.

“So I’m fully aware of what we need to do in the event we get promoted, and I’m confident that we will be able to comply at Woking Park.”

As Westfield turn in strong performances week-in week-out, Perkins knows that success comes with its challenges too – particularly keeping hold of the players and staff that have delivered it.

But he hopes the environment he and the club have created plays its part.

“Our policy is to encourage any players that come to Westfield, if they’re good enough, to play at a higher level,” he said. “But I always put the caveat in when I talk to them: ‘Please go and play the best level you can, but provided you still enjoy your football’.

“We’re sitting near the top of the league, they get looked after, they’ve got a great playing facility and they play for a great manager – and they enjoy it.

“Why would you want to leave?”

Perkins can now add ‘progress in the Buildbase FA Trophy’ to that list of attractive factors.

On Saturday the Field travelled to Great Wakering Rovers of the BetVictor Isthmian League North – and triumphed 5-3 to register their first ever win in the competition.

Hat-trick hero Aaron Watson was the chief architect, but there were also strong displays from Tinashe Nkoma and Max Blackmore.

Westfield have arguably their biggest game of the season tomorrow (Saturday, 19 October) as they welcome table-toppers Hanwell Town to Woking Park.

Three points from that encounter will be one more step towards step three.

For the full report of this interview, get the 17 October edition of the News & Mail

NEW signing Sam Howes has told Woking fans to “expect a lot of passion” from him during his time with the club.

The former Watford academy keeper is looking to establish himself at Kingfield after a series of loan spells, including at Eastbourne Borough last season.

New signing Sam Howes with Woking FC manager Alan Dowson

Howes, 21, signed for the Cards on Monday, after his deal with the Hornets expired last Sunday (30 June).

He told the News & Mail: “Every season is a chance to make a name for yourself. I’ve had a few loan experiences which have stood me in good stead, but now I’m ready for the next step forward in my career.

“Woking was the right option for me. I know Dowse (manager Alan Dowson) really well from my time at Hampton & Richmond Borough, and I know what to expect.”

“So for me it’s perfect, it’s an ideal place to further my development and hopefully move on up the ladder in future years.”

For the full interview get the 4 July edition of the News & Mail

WOKING Football Club’s Kingfield Stadium has just rounded off two weeks of community tournaments hosted by the club’s official charity Cardinals in the Community over the last two weeks from events for local schools to over 50s men.

Chris Sexton, Senior Development Coach and Coach Mentor, said: “We are grateful for everyone’s support and this year for funding provided by The Premier League Primary Stars Programme. The children, in particular, enjoyed the opportunity to play in the stadium where they often come to watch matches.”

The victorious year 4 Pirbright girls team

The first event was the Year 4 Boys, which saw 15 teams entered with a semi-final between Goldsworth and Hermitage and Greenfield and Horsell. Both games were closely contested ending with a tense final between Horsell and Hermitages.

The following day it was the turn of the Year 4, 5 & 6 Girls. Six teams were entered in the Year 4 tournament and 15 in the year 5/6. Year 4 was run as a league basis with Pirbright coming out on top and lifting the cup.

The pace slowed a little for the next tournament and it was the turn of the over 50s men in their fifth Annual Walking Football Tournament. Eight teams competed with the top four proceeding to the semi-finals.

The last tournament was the 5th Annual Wellbeing Tournament, this year 15 teams took part and were divided into two leagues and then a cup and plate competition.

Chris added: “We would like to thank all teams for making all our tournaments so successful and look forward to seeing you all next year.”

For tournament results and more get the 13 June edition of the News & Mail

LUKE Tuffs says that being named Knaphill’s new manager is the best thing that has happened to him during his football career.

Tuffs, previously head coach at Evo-Stik League South Premier Division South outfit Hartley Wintney, says he is determined to bring success to the Combined Counties League Premier Division club.

Knaphill’s new boss Luke Tuffs during his successful spell on the management team at Hartley Wintney

In an exclusive interview with the News & Mail, the 32-year-old came across as humbled to have been given the chance to lead Knaphill.

Having been part of the management team which guided The Row to a final position of eighth – ahead of more established neighbours Farnborough and Basingstoke Town – in Evo-Stik Premier South this season, he certainly brings to the Knappers some much-needed experience of the higher echelons of semi-pro football.

Acknowledging the wonderful times he experienced at Hampshire village club Hartley, UEFA B-licence coach Tuffs said: “Winning the Evo-Stik (East Division) play-offs at the first attempt (in 2018), the FA Cup run (in 2015) when we got close to the first round proper, knocking out teams from higher divisions, and getting to the fifth round of the FA Vase (in 2016) were great, but the best thing in my career was getting the Knaphill job.

“It’s my first manager’s job (at senior level) and I’ll do my best not to be out of every national cup competition by September or October!

“It’s very exciting and I’d love to emulate what happened at Hartley (the club won back-to-back promotions, climbing from the Combined Counties Premier to Evo-Stik Premier South).

“We didn’t say ‘We’re going to this’ or ‘We’re going to do that’ but we quietly went about our business. It was very much a group effort. We always had a strong group and worked together.”

So, realistically, can Knaphill match the achievements of near neighbours Westfield and become a force in the  Bostik League?

“Of course it’s possible,” said Tuffs, whose day job is Chertsey academy manager at Pulse Premier Football. 

“If we get things right and get people to buy into the club, who knows where we can go? It’s a cliché, but we’ll take each game as it comes.

“I’m going to bring in lots of players but I’m going to be fair to the players who are already at the club.

“I’ve spoken to a few and I’m going to speak to everyone. I’ll give a chance to any of them who want to be part of the group.

“The priority is the league, but as a club it would be great to have a cup run.”

Commenting on the appointment of Tuffs, who has coached in the US, Knaphill chairman David Freeman told the News & Mail: “We’re delighted to have Luke at the club.

“His ideas and coaching abilities are of real quality, and we’re looking forward to the season ahead.”

For the full interview get the 30 May edition of the News & Mail

IT’S been 17 years in the making, but Woking fans will now get the opportunity to meet with the new developer for the proposed Cardinal Court stadium development at Kingfield.

With the various cross-party working contracts all signed, Woking’s board of directors are inviting fans to attend a special fans’ forum at Cardinals Bar on 16 April to learn more about the proposed plans to future-proof the National League South club.

For many, it will be the first time that they will have the opportunity to pose real questions to the project team after years of speculation as to what a new Woking Community Stadium project might comprise.

Speaking exclusively to the News & Mail, Wayne Gold, owner of GolDev Woking Limited, which is coordinating the proposed redevelopment of the Kingfield site in south Woking, is pleased with the progress to date.

He said: “When I first met representatives of Woking, they gave me their views and aspirations for the club.  Similarly, I gave my views in terms of ideas and we reached an agreement in principle.  I then went away to pull together the various components.

“There’s a lot of land interest at Kingfield and there were a lot of individual parties that had an interest through one means or another; however, we have now been able to get everyone on board contractually.

“We (GolDev) have since exchanged contracts with the football club and Woking Borough Council and we’re now proceeding with the planning application for the Kingfield site.

“Therefore, it’s the right time to properly engage with fans now that we have something we can share with them and discuss,” he added.

For more information on the time of the fans’ forum on 16 April, please go to or call the club on 01483 772470.

For the full story and further details of how to get involved get the 11 April edition of the News & Mail

WOKING returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory away to Truro City on Tuesday.

Going straight into The Cards’ starting line-up was midfielder Olu Durojaiye, who signed from Bostik League Premier Division outfit Haringey Borough on Monday.

Hodges, right, on the ball

Despite having made their longest journey of the season – a daunting 240 miles – Woking got off to a superb start at Treyew Road, David Tarpey and Jake Hyde peppering the goal with shots. The pressure finally paid off when Armani Little unleashed a rocket from 25 yards and beat City keeper Harvey Rivers.

Truro, with two wins and a draw from their five previous games this month, showed more steel in the second half and it was clear they weren’t going to roll over. But Woking were able to soak up the home side’s pressure and were good value for their win, which sees them back on track after the disappointment of Saturday’s match, a 2-0 defeat away to Dartford.

“It’s no secret that Dartford are a big, strong side that look to hit you on the counter attack,” said Woking manager Alan Dowson.

“The lad who elbowed Hodgy (Paul Hodges) should have been booked; how he didn’t receive a booking, God only knows.”

“I feel a bit hard done by from our two matches against Dartford. I thought we should have got something out of both,” he added.

For the full match reports and pictures, see the 28 February edition of the News & Mail

WESTFIELD stretched their unbeaten run to nine games as they dug out a 1-0 win away to FC Romania.

Westfield striker Aaron Watson

The Yellows were looking to bounce back after their midweek stalemate to Ware, and made two changes, including the addition of new acquisition Anis Nuur from Hanwell Town.

Shortly before half-time, Aaron Watson was on hand to finish off a loose ball and give Westfield the lead. Fortunately for the visitors, FC Romania’s early efforts in the second half faded, and Westfield recorded their sixth clean sheet in nine games since the turn of the year.

Manager Tony Reid said: “All that matters is the three points. The boys are all buzzing, the mood in the camp is great and we look to aim higher.”

For the full match report get the 28 February edition of the News & Mail

TEN-man Westfield conjured a late equaliser at Wodson Park as they earned a point away to promotion rivals Ware.

“We weren’t at the races”: Westfield Manager Tony Reid

The Yellows manager Tony Reid had recently confirmed his sights of promotion, and while looking to surpass Marlow into third made just the one change, drafting in Louie Downey for Harry Carter.

With two strong penalty claims for Westfield rejected, as well as their woodwork being tested twice by thumping drives from Ware, it was a surprise there was only one goal separating the two sides as the match headed for full time.

Yet in the final five minutes The Yellows were awarded a penalty, captain Matt Steer striking from the spot to level the scores, before Graham Purdy was dismissed for two challenges on the home side’s keeper.

“We weren’t at the races and it’s two points dropped unfortunately,” said Reid.

For the full story get the 21 February edition of the News & Mail

WOKING won for the first time in four Vanarama National League South matches as they saw off East Thurrock United 3-0 at The Laithwaite Community Stadium on Saturday.

CELEBRATION: Collier, left, and Little, right, congratulate Tarpey

The Cards’ victory was their first in the league since they overcame Welling United at Kingfield on 9 January – exactly a month earlier.

So it was no exaggeration to say that the clash with The Rocks was one of Woking’s most important matches of the campaign.

Failure by Alan Dowson’s men to pick up three points would have given table-toppers Torquay United – whose home game with Chelmsford City was rained off – a crucial four-point advantage over the Surrey outfit, with both championship-chasers having played 27 times. As it was, The Cards closed the gap to one point.

New signing David Tarpey opened his account for Woking, before Greg Luer and Jake Hyde struck to kill off the Essex-based visitors.

For the full match report, see the 14 February edition of the News & Mail