Woking F.C.

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Woking
Woking FC logo.svg
Full nameWoking Football Club
Nickname(s)The Cardinals
Short nameWFC
Founded1887;134 years ago (1887) [1]
Ground Kingfield Stadium
Capacity6,036 (2,500 seated)
Coordinates 51°18′22.80″N0°33′31.72″W / 51.3063333°N 0.5588111°W / 51.3063333; -0.5588111
ChairmanRosemary Johnson
Manager Alan Dowson
League National League
2020–21 National League, 20th of 22
Website Club website

Woking Football Club is a semi-professional association football club, based in Woking, Surrey, England. Founded in 1887, [1] the club plays its home matches at Kingfield Stadium and is nicknamed the Cardinals, often shortened to the Cards. Currently, they compete in the National League , the fifth tier of English football, having been promoted from the National League South in the 2018–19 season.

Contents

History

Early years

Woking Football Club was founded in 1887. The club joined the West Surrey League in 1895–96, winning the title by one point. However, within 21 years of being formed, the club was in danger of folding for financial reasons. The turning point came when, in January 1908, Woking played Bolton Wanderers in the First Round of the FA Cup, having made it through five qualifying rounds. Despite losing the away game 5–0, the club made it into the national news. Bolton Wanderers, impressed by the minnows they had defeated, travelled to Woking for a friendly match the following season, which kept the club solvent.

Isthmian League years

In 1911 the club joined the Isthmian League, maintaining their place in the top division for 72 years and finishing as runners-up to Wycombe Wanderers in 1956–57. That achievement was eclipsed the following season when, in front of a 71,000 crowd[ citation needed ], Woking beat Ilford 3–0 to win the last F.A. Amateur Cup final to be televised live.

The club then went into decline, culminating in a first-ever relegation in 1982–83. By the end of the 1984–85 season the club had plunged to Division Two South of the Isthmian League. It was during that season that former player, Geoff Chapple, was appointed as manager[ citation needed ]. However, Chapple was not able to save the club from relegation. The following season, the club just missed out on promotion at the first attempt. However, the club clinched the Division Two South title in 1986–87 and, after two third-place finishes in Division One, they were promoted back to the Premier Division at the end of the 1989–90 season.

FA Cup glory

During the 1990–91 season, the club reached the fourth round of the FA Cup. [2] Woking beat three Conference sides to set up a third round away tie at Second Division side West Bromwich Albion. [3] After trailing 1–0 at half time, Woking went on to win 4–2, with Tim Buzaglo scoring a hat-trick. [3] In the Fourth Round, the club was drawn against First Division Everton. The tie was originally going to be played at Woking, however the venue was switched to Everton's home ground, Goodison Park. Woking narrowly lost the match 1–0 to a Kevin Sheedy goal. [4]

Promotion to the Conference and FA Trophy success

Woking supporters watching their team win at Wembley in the 1997 FA Trophy Final. Inside the "Old" Wembley Stadium. - geograph.org.uk - 112434.jpg
Woking supporters watching their team win at Wembley in the 1997 FA Trophy Final.

Promotion to the Conference was achieved in 1991–92. The Isthmian League title was clinched in early April, with seven games still to be played, 18 points clear of nearest rivals, Enfield. The next season saw Woking finish the season in eighth position. The following summer saw Chapple sign former Chelsea, Sunderland, Fulham and QPR winger, Clive Walker, from Brighton & Hove Albion and he was to prove the catalyst in the most successful period in the club's history. Woking won the FA Trophy for the first time in 1994, defeating Runcorn in the final at Wembley; the following season they became only the second club to win back-to-back FA Trophies (after Scarborough in 1976–77), defeating Kidderminster Harriers in the final. A third FA Trophy triumph followed in 1997, with Dagenham & Redbridge the opponents in the final. The Cards also achieved five successive top-five finishes in the Conference, including being runners-up in 1994–95 and 1995–96 when they finished below Stevenage. The club also continued to enjoy national prominence in the FA Cup. Barnet were defeated in successive seasons following draws at their homeground. In 1996–97 a run in the FA Cup saw the club beat Millwall, then top of Division Two, and Cambridge United, who were challenging for promotion from Division Three. The Third Round saw Woking draw 1–1 away to Premier League side Coventry City, thanks to a last minute equaliser from the Cards' Steve Thompson, but Coventry won the replay at Kingfield 2–1.

At the end of the 1996–97 campaign, having just clinched the FA Trophy for the third time, Geoff Chapple and his coach, Colin Lippiatt, left the club and joined Kingstonian. This was the beginning of a less successful period for the club. John McGovern and then Brian McDermott were given the position of manager, but neither achieved anything greater than a mid-table finish. After McDermott, Colin Lippiatt returned but fared little better. He was replaced by his former boss as Geoff Chapple too came back to Woking. Lippiatt departed in January 2002 and Glenn Cockerill joined as Chapple's assistant. This season ended with the club just one place above the relegation places. In the meantime very significant events had taken place off the field. The downturn in the club's fortunes had led to a financial crisis. With the club facing administration or worse, local businessman and long-time fan Chris Ingram bought the club, becoming chairman in February 2002 with an aim of trying to increase the club's income and to secure its long-term financial stability.[ citation needed ]

Cockerill took over as manager later that year, and oversaw a relative period of stability for the club, before he was sacked shortly before the end of the 2006–07 season. An unimpressive campaign under the management of Frank Gray followed in 2007–08, before a disastrous 2008–09 season which saw three men (Kim Grant, Phil Gilchrist and Graham Baker) take charge of the club, eventually resulted in the club's relegation to the Conference South. That summer, a supporters' trust took over the running of the club. Woking finished 5th in their first Conference South season, but lost to Bath City in the play-off final. The following season saw Woking struggling to challenge for promotion, and Graham Baker was sacked halfway through the campaign for suggesting that the fans were expecting too much of the team.

Garry Hill era (2011–2017)

Garry Hill took over as manager and improved the team's form, eventually resulting in another fifth-place finish, only for the club to get knocked out in the play-off semi-finals this time against Farnborough. In April 2012, having beaten Maidenhead United 0–1 with Giuseppe Sole scoring for a record breaking ninth game in a row, Woking were promoted to the Conference Premier, winning the Conference South with two games to spare. They eventually reached 97 points, beating second placed Dartford by nine points.

After five seasons in the National League (formerly Conference Premier), Woking acrimoniously parted company with Garry Hill after six-and-a-half years at the helm.

Relegation and return to the National League (2017–)

The club appointed former Southampton and West Ham United under-23s coach Anthony Limbrick in May 2017, which saw the club take another step to becoming full-time again, with players training three times a week. [5] Despite a good run in the 2017–18 FA Cup, Woking's league form suffered, which culminated in just three league wins between October 2017 and April 2018. Limbrick was subsequently relieved of his duties just 11 months into a three-year contract, leaving assistant manager Jason Goodliffe to take over the managerial reins (aided by former Aldershot Town coach Matt Gray) to preserve The Cards' National League status with just five games remaining. [6] However, Woking's fate was eventually sealed on the final day of the season after a 2–1 home defeat against Dover Athletic. [7]

On 16 May 2018, and after much speculation, the club finally confirmed the appointment of former Kingstonian and Hampton & Richmond Borough manager Alan Dowson. [8] Woking returned to the National League in 2019 at the first time of asking following a 1-0 win over Welling United in National League South Play-Off Final. During this promotion season, Woking reached the third round of the FA Cup. Woking had beaten League Two side Swindon Town before losing out to Premier League side Watford FC 2–0. [9] [10]

The following season, Woking finished in 10th place back in the National League following the decision to stop the season in March 2020 due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. [11] In the 2020–21 National League season, Woking finished 20th.

Ground

Woking play their home games at Kingfield Stadium (currently The Laithwaite Community Stadium for sponsorship reasons), Kingfield Road, Woking, GU22 9AA.

Mascot

Woking F.C. has a team mascot called K.C Kat.[ citation needed ]

Rivalries

For many years Woking's main rivals have been Stevenage and Aldershot Town, where games attract larger than average crowds. Torquay United have also become minor rivals due to intense games and competition in the past couple of years despite their distance from one another.

Aldershot Town

Aldershot Town and Woking have met competitively on 30 occasions. Aldershot Town have won 17 times, Woking 7 times and there has been 6 drawn matches.

DateResultCompetitionAttendanceNotes
Saturday 31 October 1998Aldershot Town 0-0 WokingFA Cup 4th Qualifying Round6,870First Ever FA Cup Meeting
Tuesday 3 November 1998Woking 2-1 Aldershot Town (AET)FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round Replay3,896
Saturday 5 February 2000Woking 0-0 Aldershot TownFA Trophy 4th Round-First Ever FA Trophy Meeting
Tuesday 15 February 2000Aldershot Town 0-1 WokingFA Trophy 4th Round Replay5,524Woking's First Away Win
Saturday 23 August 2003Aldershot Town 2-1 WokingConference4,637First Ever League Meeting
Saturday 10 April 2004Woking 2-2 Aldershot TownConference4,158-
Monday 30 August 2004Woking 1-2 Aldershot TownConference3,718Aldershot's First Away Win
Sunday 27 March 2005Aldershot Town 4-0 WokingConference4,458Aldershot's First League Double
Tuesday 21 March 2006Woking 1-2 Aldershot TownConference3,244-
Saturday 22 April 2006Aldershot Town 1-1 WokingConference2,704-
Monday 9 October 2006Woking 2-0 Aldershot TownConference3,725Live On Sky Sports
Tuesday 13 March 2007Aldershot Town 2-2 WokingConference2,739-
Wednesday 26 December 2007Woking 0-1 Aldershot TownConference4,356First Boxing Day Clash
Tuesday 1 January 2008Aldershot Town 2-1 WokingConference4,728First New Years Day Clash
Saturday 12 January 2008Woking 2-4 Aldershot TownFA Trophy 2nd Round2,368-
Tuesday 18 March 2008Aldershot Town 2-2 WokingConference Shield Southern Semi-Final1,629Aldershot Win 4-3 On Penalties
Monday 26 August 2013Aldershot Town 2-1 WokingConference3,138-
Monday 21 April 2014Woking 1-2 Aldershot TownConference4,728-
Tuesday 9 September 2014Aldershot Town 0-1 WokingConference3,567
Sunday 28 December 2014Woking 1-2 Aldershot TownConference3,559-
Saturday 26 December 2015Aldershot Town 0-1 WokingNational League3,150
Saturday 2 January 2016Woking 2-1 Aldershot TownNational League3,708Woking's First League Double
Monday 26 December 2016Aldershot Town 4-0 WokingNational League3,456Live On BT Sports
Sunday 1 January 2017Woking 1-2 Aldershot TownNational League3,224-
Tuesday 26 December 2017Aldershot Town 3-1 WokingNational League4,181-
Monday 1 January 2018Woking 1-2 Aldershot TownNational League3,790-
Tuesday 6 August 2019Woking 0-1 Aldershot TownNational League3,992-
Saturday 24 October 2020Aldershot Town 1-2 WokingFA Cup 4th Qualifying Round0Played Behind Closed Doors Due To COVID-19
Saturday 26 December 2020Aldershot Town 3-0 WokingNational League0Played Behind Closed Doors Due To COVID-19
Saturday 2 January 2021Woking 0-1 Aldershot TownNational League0Played Behind Closed Doors Due To COVID-19

Players

Current squad

As of 19 June 2021 [12] [13]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer
3 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Josh Casey(captain)
4 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Charlie Cooper
6 DF Flag of France.svg  FRA Moussa Diarra
10 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Max Kretzschmar
13 GK Flag of England.svg  ENG Craig Ross
15 MF Flag of Australia (converted).svg  AUS Jack Skinner
17 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Sam Evans
20 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Malachi Napa
21 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Tommy Block
24 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Leo Hamblin
26 FW Flag of Jamaica.svg  JAM Jamar Loza
No.Pos.NationPlayer
27 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Joe Leslie
28 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Selim Saied
29 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Nathan Wood
31 GK Flag of England.svg  ENG Mark Smith
DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Joe McNerney
MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Tom Champion
MF Flag of Montserrat.svg  MSR Rohan Ince
MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Solomon Nwabuokei
FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Inih Effiong
FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Tyreke Johnson

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer

Seasons

YearLeagueLevelPldWDLGFGAGDPtsPositionLeading league scorerGoals FA Cup FA Trophy Average attendance
2010–11 Conference South6422210106342+21765 of 22
Lost in PO semifinal
Elvis Hammond 12 R1 R3 1167
2011–12 Conference South64230759241+51971 of 22
Promoted
Giuseppe Sole19 QR3 QR3 1834
2012–13 Conference Premier546188207381−86212 of 24 Bradley Bubb 18 QR4 R2 1600
2013–14 Conference Premier546208186669−3689 of 24 Scott Rendell 17 QR4 R2 1601
2014–15 Conference Premier5462113127752+25767 of 24Scott Rendell24 R1 R3 1911
2015–16 National League 5461710197168+36112 of 24 John Goddard 17 QR4 QF 1634
2016–17 National League5461411216680−145318 of 24 Gozie Ugwu 17 R2 R1 1429
2017–18 National League546139245676−204821 of 24
Relegated
Charlie Carter 12 R2 R1 1911
2018–19 National League South 642239107649+27782 of 22
Won in PO final
Max Kretzschmar 14 R3 R1 1882
2019–20 National League5381510135055-55510 of 24
Season finished early due to Covid-19 Pandemic
Jake Hyde 16 QR4 R1 2134
2020–21 National League54289254269-273320 of 23Max Kretzschmar7 R1 SF 763 [lower-alpha 1]
  1. Fans were only allowed in during two fixtures this season due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Managerial history

A list of Woking FC managers from 1984 onwards.

DatesNamesNotes
1984–1997 Flag of England.svg Geoff Chapple
1997–1998 Flag of Scotland.svg John McGovern
1998–2000 Flag of England.svg Brian McDermott
2000–2001 Flag of England.svg Colin Lippiatt
2001–2002 Flag of England.svg Geoff Chapple
2002–2007 Flag of England.svg Glenn Cockerill
2007 Flag of England.svg Graham Baker &
Flag of England.svg Neil Smith
Caretaker Managers
2007–2008 Flag of Scotland.svg Frank Gray
2008 Flag of Ghana.svg Kim Grant
2008–2009 Flag of England.svg Phil Gilchrist
2009–2011 Flag of England.svg Graham Baker
2011–2017 Flag of England.svg Garry Hill
2017–2018 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Anthony Limbrick
2018 Flag of England.svg Geoff Chapple Caretaker Manager
2018– Flag of England.svg Alan Dowson

Club officials

PositionClub Official
ChairmanRosemary Johnson
DirectorsGraeme Beveridge
Sean Carey
John Katz
Drew Volpe
Commercial DirectorMick Livesey
Football Liaison DirectorKelvin Reay
Cards Trust Fans' RepresentativeGeorge Burnett
Company SecretaryAndy Turner
Honorary Vice President of the CardsPeter Jordan

Source:  Woking F.C.

Management team

PositionStaff
Manager Alan Dowson
Assistant ManagersIan Dyer
Martin Tyler
Goalkeeping CoachMatthew Winter
Strength & Conditioning CoachJames Clark
Physiotherapists Christian Jolley
Phil Routledge
Kit ManagerMalcolm Jobling
Kit AssistantsPaul Griffiths
Phil Marlow

Source:  Woking F.C.

Honours

League

Cups

Club records

Highest league position:

FA Cup best performance:

FA Trophy best performance:

Largest transfer fee received

Largest transfer fee paid

Record win

Heaviest defeat

Record attendance

Former players

1. Players that have gone onto play in the football league or any foreign equivalent to this level (i.e. fully professional league).
2. Players with full international caps.
3. Players that hold a club record

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