I’ve been privileged to watch a number of impressive players since 2010 when Maldon & Tiptree formed, so there are a whole host of players who are missing from my team. I can’t name them all, but Billy Roast, Jack Stevenson, Lewis Dark and Femi Akinwande to name just a few!
However, I had to narrow it down in the end…
Daniel Wilks - GK
Without doubt, one of the best young goalkeepers I have seen at this level. He was instrumental in Kevin Horlock’s side who reached the play-off final and since leaving Park Drive, has gone on to play consistently in the Conference South and above. I still believe he could play in the Football League if not higher.
Kyle Hammond – RB
A solid right back who certainly could have and should have played at a higher level. An expert defender who was just as good at attacking. Was Mr Consistent and was always a 7/10 at the least.
Martyn Stokes – CB
How Stokesy has not played at a much higher level is beyond me. He has won promotion from this league several times, he is a superb defender and a brilliant leader too. For me, has been for a long while- and still is- the best defender in the entire Isthmian Division One North.
Paul King – CB
Kingy was a commanding, no-nonsense defender who wore his heart on his sleeve and, despite a string of knee injuries, had an amazing career, including earning promotion at Witham Town. He was a real fans favourite and was always someone you could rely on. Somehow, Paul always knew how to get the referee on his side; he loved a tackle so this was probably important. A true warrior, who always gave 100%.
Ryan Gondoh – LB
He would prefer to be at in as a winger, but this man is too good to leave out of my team. Will be forever remembered for his Boxing Day hat-trick against Heybridge Swifts. He has pace, power and real attacking flare. I don’t understand how he ever ended up playing at Maldon’s level, but it was a real treat for the supporters.
Matt Lock – CDM
In a spell of just over two seasons, Locky was fantastic as he recorded 99 appearances. I wonder if he will ever return to make it three figures? Despite being the latter part of his career, Locky lit-up the league with some professional midfield masterclasses as he led a side to the play-off final. His experience was a great help for the young side at the time and I’m sure he won’t be too long before he is back in the non-league fold as a manager somewhere.
Ollie Berquez – CM
What can I say about Berqo? The clubs record appearance maker having joined from Chelmsford City, but his career speaks for itself. Referred to by many as the tin-man, he was a brilliant servant to the club and after leaving he finished his career at AFC Sudbury as League champions- which is a fitting tribute to the player he was. A box-to-box midfield who knew where the goal was and certainly knew how to win free-kicks in the right areas.
Stephane Ngamvoulou – CM
Steph was fantastic for Maldon, with his legs in midfield and his ability to control a football match with ease. Instrumental in the clubs FA Cup run, which included a special performance against Newport County. He recorded 63 appearances before leaving due to work commitments and fingers crossed, we might see him back in a Jammers shirt one day...
Liam Nash – RW
Nashy was only with the club for a season, but it was a season that ended in him signing a pro deal with Gillingham. He scored a hatful of goals, including a 20 minute hat-trick in the play-off semi-final. A special player with all the talent in the world… I’ll never forget his 90th minute volley against Heybridge Swifts and I’m sure many feel the same.
Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe – ST
By a country mile, the best striker I have ever seen in non-league football. He scored 34 goals in 34 games for the Jammers, including scoring in 15 consecutive league games. A handful for any defenders with his aerial ability, his pace, trickery- and boy, did he know how to finish. He left to sign a deal with Colchester United, he scored on his debut however it never really worked out for him, for whatever reason. A special, special player and a top person to match.
Darren McQueen – LW
I’m not sure I’ve seen a quicker player live… his pace was electrifying and left defenders in fear. He scored plenty of goals before moving on to play higher in the pyramid. Has since gone on to represent the England C side and now plies his trade in the Conference, following some unfortunate injuries. His finishing was impressive too, as he scored a number of goals whilst at the club.
For his workrate alone, I couldn’t leave News off my bench, and that’s without mentioning his goalscoring ability - he could score goals of all types; poachers, headers, long range worldy’s. His leading from the front was very special and he always set the tone for the team after joining from Needham Market. His volley away at Bury Town will forever be remembered. What a player.
Was very young whilst at Park Drive, however you could see he always had the potential to go far. He is now at Crawley Town in the Football League and has been a regular for them this season. Great pace and even better skills.
A creative forward who had pace, skill and a raw ability to finish the chance when it came along. He played in an impressive Maldon side under Terry Spillane who somehow never won the league. Whenever Robbo had the ball, you felt like he would create something. His had a brilliant career across the globe and someone I just couldn’t leave out.
The clubs leading goalscorer and his goal away at Leyton Orient will never be forgotten. His pace and finishing ability terrified defenders and his goalscoring record speaks for itself. Unfortunate not to make the starting XI, but far too good to miss out completely.
In what is an attacking bench, I felt I needed someone with a bit of versatility who could cover in a number of positions, and Toner gives any manager that. His ability to play virtually anywhere in midfield or defence makes him a manager’s dream. A hammer of a left foot who probably never scored as many goals as he should have. He brings that aggression every side needs and if I was going to war, I’d want Toner on my team, that’s for sure.
Manager: Wayne Brown
For me, this was easy. Browny oozes class. His managerial record speaks for its self, he is Mr Professional. He has guided the club through two impressive FA Cup runs, a play-off final, the league title before being denied by Covid, the clubs longest run in the FA Trophy and more. I honestly believe that Wayne will go to very the top within the football managerial world and when it comes, he absolutely deserves it. A top manager and a special person too.
Right, let’s have your First XI! Email your squad to Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll see it appear here.