ON-LOAN Woking FC striker Jamie Philpot knows a thing or two about scoring goals. After all, he scored his first senior career goal for Millwall in the SkyBet Championship at the age of just 18.
The Kent-born marksman, who is on-loan to Woking from The Lions until January 2018, opened his account on what was only his second start as a number 9 against AFC Fylde last Saturday (23 Sept. ’17).
And if Philpot’s hard work and phenomenal goal scoring prowess as a Millwall academy player is anything to go by, he could well be into double figures by the turn of the year.
Speaking to the News & Mail ahead of this weekend’s fixture against Hartlepool United (30 Sept. ’17), the young striker is delighted to have broken his duck for his new club.
He said: “Scoring against Fylde felt like a massive relief. I should have scored against Wrexham last month, but it was still good to finally get off the mark.
“It was a fantastic delivery by Nathan Ralph and it was so nice to see the back of the net ripple.
“Even before the match, the players said ‘today will be your day’, and luckily it was, but the most important thing was the three points for the team.”
Philpot paid homage to Cards’ boss Anthony Limbrick, who negotiated a deal in August to bring the striker from Millwall to Woking on a five-month loan deal.
“Working under Anthony is fantastic, as he leads by example and galvanises the whole squad.
“On a training day, he’s not just there 10 minutes before the players arrive, but an hour or two before training starts to set everything up.
“It’s not simply about going through the motions, he tells the players what he’s going to do and the reason why we’re going to do it.
“Analytically, he’s very good too, because he puts things in context. He explains what we’re doing well; what we haven’t done as well, and what areas we can improve on. That’s generally something you only get at professional clubs, not in non-league, so Anthony certainly bucks the trend.
While Philpot accepts that the hustle and bustle of the National League is quite different to academy football, and that of the English Football League (EFL), he believes his loan-spell will make him a more rounded player.
“I felt that I could always score goals an academy player, but men’s football is completely different, explained Philpot. “It’s all about taking your chances.
“From what I can remember, I only had one chance against Fylde, and I managed to take it, and that’s what it’s about; hitting the target.
“I’m still at the stage where I’m learning, and I need to continue to affect the game and score goals, so it shows Millwall that I’m capable of playing in the League (EFL).
“For me, it’s now about the three points on a Saturday (or Tuesday night), whereas academy football is just about development. There’s a point where it’s not just about development anymore per se, but the three points on a match day; that’s the bit I’m learning the most.”
While the surroundings of non-league football will naturally differ from those competing in the upper echelons of the game, Philpot believes that everything from the playing surface (home ground) to the way Woking conditions its players is carried out with the utmost professionalism.
“Anthony’s got the academy background; he and his team know how to develop and get the best out of players in a highly competitive environment, so he has the advantage over many other non-league managers. He’s been conditioned to think and work in a certain way, which the players really buy in to,” said Philpot.
“At the start of the season, the aim was for Woking to finish in the top half of the table and within reaching distance of the play-offs, but now there’s a confidence about us.
“There’s a really good squad of players here, and if we defend from the front and take our chances, the team will continue to do well.
“We’ve won the last five out of six and, while we’ve got to keep our feet on the ground, ultimately, it’s about getting Woking promoted,” he added.
Philpot will be hoping to double his tally in as many games when Woking host Hartlepool United for the first time at The Laithwaite Community Stadium.