Monday, 2 April 2012


Not many players will achieve back-to-back promotions in their career. Even fewer will get out of the same division in successive seasons. Now, though, Derek Duncan stands on the threshold of joining that exclusive club. A Conference South play-off winner with Ebbsfleet United in 2010/11, the full-back now looks set to lift the league championship with Woking and set up a reunion with his former Fleet team-mates in Conference Premier next term.

A season at AFC Wimbledon came sandwiched between Duncan's two spells at Ebbsfleet. Wikipedia lists him as a winger, explained by his penchant for bombing forward from the back. His goals are a rare delicacy - in fact, he hasn't found the net this season - but good things truly do come to those who wait. An exquisite Duncan free-kick against Chelmsford City sparked a comeback in one of the most remarkable games I've ever reported on, as the Fleet came from 2-0 down to take all three points in Essex.

Offered non-contract terms to stay at Stonebridge Road beyond last summer, Duncan opted instead for a move to Kingfield. If anyone was unhappy at the nature of his departure from north Kent, though, I was about to find out the bonds of friendship held firm beyond the boundaries of club camaraderie. Still, it shouldn't take any spice out of a Woking v Ebbsfleet clash at non-league's top table...

You're closing in on the Conference South title. What's the mood like among the lads right now?

The mood is very calm and very focused. We know what we have to do.

Similar vibe to the Fleet side which went up through the play-offs a year ago?

Yes, fairly similar. But going up as champions adds that little more excitement.

Who's the changing-room DJ at Woking and what music gets played before kick-off?

OK, so our resident DJ at woking is Giuseppe Sole. It's a mix of funky and house music. Deeeeecent btw.

What's your earliest memory of football and who were your heroes growing up?

My earliest memory of football was playing for my local Sunday team, Eastlea Colts, and scoring from the halfway line. Took about five bounces. Heroes growing up were Ian Wright and David Beckham.

Which is the strongest team you've played in the league this season?

Hardest team I've played against this year is probably Chelmsford City.

How hot do you have your chicken at Nando's?

As a Nando's resident I have my chicken medium.

Have you ever scored a better goal than the free-kick you belted in against Dartford last season?

NOTE: Skip to 01:20 on the video clip. You do not save those.

I don't score many, but the one against Dartford I'll always cherish. Not only was it a peach of a strike but to do it on derby day makes it sweeter.

Let's talk about your last two managers. How are Garry Hill and Liam Daish similar, and how are they different?

Garry Hill and Liam Daish are first of all good men with good intentions. Both want to win. Garry Hill is a great motivator, he picks his words carefully, so everything he says you know he has thought about and has logic behind it. Liam Daish is also a great motivator and he still has that desire he had as a player to work hard and win. Both very respectable managers.

The play-off final: as I recall you missed out after getting injured in the warm-up. Did that take any shine off the day?

Being injured for the final was heart-breaking. I even had two injections to try to get through it. But it wasn't feeling right and I didn't want to play injured and cost the team promotion so I pulled out. I feel I played an important part in that season, so it was the right decision. It took a little shine off it but I was very happy to get promoted.

You have 'carpe diem' on your Twitter biog - why is that mantra special to you?

Carpe diem means 'seize the day'. I'm a strong believer in living every day to the fullest. You only live once.

I think I can see Preston Edwards sneaking into your profile pic. Tell us something we wouldn't know about 'Safe Hands'..

Preston Edwards. Lol this guy can eat for fun. Put it this way: we went out for a meal and he ordered two mains and finished them before I finished my one main course. Lol.

Who are your best friends in football?

I'm lucky to have a lot of friends in football. But to name a couple I'm realy close with: Calum Willock, Dean Pooley, Leon Crooks, Ricky Shakes, Nathan Ashton, Preston Edwards. All the boys at Fleet I got promoted with I class as good friends.

Who are the best players you've played with and against?

Best players I played with: Matty Phillips, now at Blackpool, and Andre Bouchaud, now at Luton. Against: Michael Carrick when he was at Spurs.

What are your sporting passions outside football?

A bit of golf, fishing and cricket.

A few team-mate questions: who's the joker, who's the hard man and who's the biggest moaner?

The joker at Woking has got to be Alan Inns. He don't stop. Hard man is Jack King - the dude is a machine. The biggest moaner is Adam Doyle.

Best football pundit/commentator on TV or radio?

The legend, John Motson.

Most entertaining person you follow on Twitter?

Leon Knight - crazy guy.

And finally - you've got one tweet to tell the world about Woking Football Club. Go...

Woking Football Club is a club well capable of getting into the Football League. A winning mentality runs throughout the club. PROMOTION!!

You can follow @dunky_duncs on Twitter

No comments:

Post a Comment