WHO NEXT?: LUKE GARRARD
In this five-part series I assess who should be next to step into the dugout as Taylor’s successor. The fans want a young, hungry and exciting manager and it is thought to be dependant on who makes the decision - Thompson or the owners - whether we get that or not. The first of the candidates is Luke Garrard who is currently manager of Boreham Wood.
Luke played as a defender/ midfielder becoming a fans’ favourite at AFC Wimbledon between 2006 - 2010 making 98 appearance for the club. However, an injury that kept him out for nearly a full season hindered his progress and he could no longer be guaranteed regular first team football.
He then left for Boreham Wood after helping AFC Wimbledon’s revival and rise up the non-league pyramid. He was a hit with the Wood’s fan base before long and went on to make 140 appearances at the club. He joined the coaching staff before having to step up and fill the vacancy Ian Allinson had left - becoming manager.
Since becoming the youngest manager in England’s top five divisions back in 2015 aged 30; Garrard has taken charge of 225 games at Boreham Wood. His record may not be one to boast about win percentage wise with just 77 wins with the club he has a win percentage of 34%.
However, the league positions he has recorded in charge are commendable for the size of the club. Stepping up from assistant to manager mid-way through the club’s first season in the top flight of non-league football was tough. But Luke managed to steer them clear of relegation- a great achievement.
The Wood improved with an 11th places finish the following season - again maintaining National League status - attaining a safe mid-table position. The 2017/18 campaign was probably the best in the club’s history and Garrard’s managerial career as they bettered expectations. An FA Cup run which saw them knock out Blackpool, coupled with a trip to Wembley saw Garrard’s men excel!
However, their journey to the football league was not completed as Tranmere defeated them 2-1 in the 2018 play-off final after securing a 4th placed league finish.
So, on win percentage alone the prospect of Garrard becoming the next Daggers gaffer doesn’t look all that; but take into consideration his achievements with Boreham Wood and its a rather exciting prospect.
He is young ✅ as well as exciting ✅ and ambitious ✅ so it is clear to see why he is the front runner for fans. He would though have to be lured from his much loved Boreham Wood with who sit eighth in the league as it stands - they have made a solid start. Garrard is tied down also, under contract until the summer of 2021 - it would be a fantastic appointment that would please fans!
Thanks for reading,