WOKING boss Alan Dowson has no intention of doing anything in half-measures. Just ask the landlord at the Kingfield Arms.
Just four days after masterminding the club’s promotion back to the National League after their 1-0 win over Welling United, Dowson is already assembling his squad for next season.
Straight off the back of a 36-hour drinking session to celebrate the club’s play-off final triumph on Sunday, The Cards’ boss is back and fully focused as he steps into unchartered waters.
Dowson, 48, told the News & Mail that he aims to secure Woking captain Josh Casey this week on an improved deal to keep him at Kingfield for another season.
He is a big fan of the defender and believes that Casey is one of just a handful of players who will be able to comfortably make the step up to the fifth tier of English football.
Dowson said: “The players who have been with me this season have done really well. If I’m honest, though, there will probably only be a few players who will be able to make the step up from National League South to play in the National League, and I’ll be talking to them this week.
“Some players may not have played in the National League before, but it’s amazing how some players adapt. Some might even surprise themselves.
“I will be speaking with Josh Casey for sure to get him sorted, as there’s nobody better to fill that position in my opinion,” he added.
Despite the club’s ambition to get into the English Football League within the next four to five years, Woking will continue to operate on a part-time basis next season.
Dowson has no intention of plunging the club into financial hardship by joining the National League elite, who have all decided to go full-time.
“As far as I know, we’ll be the only part-time team club in the National League next season, explained Dowson. “The players will continue to train two days during the week.
“There will be bargains to be had over the summer, as not every player can or wants to be full-time. There are some very good players out there, like Josh (Casey), who have a good job in the city, but don’t want to give all that up for football in the National League.
“Even though we’ll be part-time, we’ve got to prepare in a way that enables us to hopefully compete, as best as we can, with full-time club.
“We’ll enjoy next season. We’ll give it a damn good go, I think we’ll be ok.
Prior to putting on his negotiating hat, though, Dowson had to telephone basecamp to speak to his wife, Donna, after she was forced to play second fiddle to the club’s play-off preparations.
Dowson jested: “After the celebrations, the first person I had to contact was my wife to check that we were still together, before phoning the players. That’s football for you.”
Woking are next in action away to Badshot Lea on 9 July in what is the first pre-season friendly.
See the promotion special, with pictures of players, supports and awards, in today’s (16 May) News & Mail