DAVENTRY TOWN: Dolman is loving life at Communications Park

ENJOYING HIS FOOTBALL - Liam Dolman
ENJOYING HIS FOOTBALL - Liam Dolman

Club captain Liam Dolman celebrates his 26th birthday this week knowing that Daventry Town alone have a 100 per cent record among the 276 clubs which make up the top four levels of non-League football.

A last minute winner from substitute Ryan Howell saw off Beaconsfield SYCOB last weekend, on a day when both Curzon Ashton (from Lancashire) and VCD Athletic (Kent) finally blotted their copybooks with drawn games in the Northern Premier and Ryman Leagues respectively.

Before the Town’s seventh straight Southern League victory, Dolman cheerfully admitted to enjoying his football more than at any time since making 45 appearances for Northampton Town as a teenager.

Why though, in the prime of his footballing life, has the man mountain of a centre half agreed to drop down four levels to Division One Central competition at Communications Park?

“On leaving Northampton Town I joined Kidderminster Harriers but things didn’t work out as I fell out with the manager after a couple of months,” said Dolman.

“I lost my way for a couple of years after that and put on a bit of weight.”

Dolman now admits to ‘weighing about 16 stones’.

He’ll never match Usain Bolt over 100 metres but is dominant in the air, has a shrewd tactical brain and two good feet.

Together with Marcel Simpson he has marshalled the Daventry defence to such good effect that so far only four goals have been conceded in nine league and FA Cup victories.

“I’m enjoying life at Daventry and don’t want to leave.

“In the summer a few step three clubs enquired about me but the gaffer (manager Darran Foster) has faith in me and vice versa.

“There is plenty of mutual respect there!”

A trainee bricklayer who enjoys watching cricket and socialising with friends, the Brixworth boy is confident that Daventry will mount a serious promotion challenge this season.

“We started pre-season training a fortnight earlier this time and the players have accordingly gained in fitness,” said Dolman.

“The squad has bonded well too with Ashley Robinson and I both made to feel welcome when we joined the club midway through last season.

“Now all our attention must be focused upon Saturday’s FA Cup second qualifying round tie at Belper.”

The Derbyshire side are close to the Northern Premier League play-off places after winning at Chasetown last weekend through a disputed second half penalty.

In the cup itself Belper were 2-1 away winners against step three near-neighbours Ilkeston.

Meanwhile Daventry boss Foster has reacted quickly to the sad news that full back Joe Coleman may miss the rest of the season with knee ligament damage.

A seven-day approach has been put in for Kettering Town defender Ashley Deeney.

Deeney played for Slough Town last season, but is not cup-tied and could therefore come into the reckoning for a place in the 16-strong squad which travels to south Derbyshire on Saturday for a tie which could take the Town’s FA Cup earnings to close on the £10,000 mark.

A 74-seater coach has been laid on by the club to take players, officials and supporters to Belper with a pre-match breakfast at Communications Park thrown in as part of the deal.