Non League manager Alan Dowson discusses personal battle with coronavirus


Having battled coronavirus himself, Woking boss Alan Dowson has hopes for the future – but only once the world has defeated the illness.

Just a few weeks ago the Woking gaffer encountered coronavirus and spent some anxious time in a local hospital.

After showing some of the symptoms when the Cards took on Dagenham & Redbridge in March, things very quickly escalated as he was rushed to hospital requiring urgent treatment.

“I had a bit of a cough and I thought it would be a bit of flu,” he said. “But it got worse and worse with a headache starting and the sweats starting.

“Before I knew it I walked down the stairs and I was in an ambulance [on the way to]St. Peters hospital for oxygen, but I’m all right now and ready to crack on.”

Earlier this week the National League announced the clubs had voted to end the regular season.

Should the season have continued the Cards would have been with a shout of making the play-offs but the 49-year-old believes it was the correct decision to cancel the remainder of the current campaign.

He said: “We could be in the playoffs, but I do believe it is the right decision as a whole.

“I do think the clubs being going as well as anybody out there, as we haven’t got the millions pound of debt that other clubs have got out there, so I do think we are in a good state.”

“We would have wanted the league to go ahead but the more this is going on in the last three weeks I feel they have made the right call in general.

The impact of coronavirus has been severe for several clubs up and down the country, with 141-year-old Welsh side Rhyl forced to fold.

This is not the case for the Cards though as Dowson explained the fortunate position the Surrey-based club are in.

“I bet we are the only club in the top ten in our league and the only club in the bottom ten of the football league who haven’t got loads of debts,” he said.

“If the League starts tomorrow, I’m not so sure how many clubs in the bottom ten of the football league and top ten of our league could actually survive the football league, we certainly could.

“Have a look at the blinking books and see how well the club is run. You wouldn’t want to be going into the football league with 1.5 million debt.

“For the last thirty years the club has done nothing, it’s up to us now to try and push this club on.”

So what does the future hold for Woking? Having joined the Cards from Hampton & Richmond Borough almost two years ago, Dowson still remains hopeful that he can take Woking into the Football League.

He said: “I feel they [the players]have been the most achieving in the world. We’ve got a great football club here, how about having a crack at the football league.

“We are planning now for the future every single day from the directors to everybody else in the club from the players, myself and management because they know that whatever happens Woking will have a future, but I’m not so sure other clubs will.”


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