BY Peter Moore
In truth before even a ball was kicked last August, there would have been very few Cards fans who would of said that come May Woking would be in the play-offs with a chance to reach Wembley and the Football League.
Darren Sarll’s side were definitely the surprise package in a league dominated by both Wrexham and Notts County.
However, many people kept writing off the Cards, but they kept proving all and sundry wrong by finishing in the top six before falling to Bromley in the play-offs.
Having not fallen out of the top four since October, Woking proved to everybody in the league, including the big boys that they can mix with the biggest clubs despite not having the budgets of the bigger fish.
Already this season before the Cards open their league campaign on Saturday against newly promoted Kidderminster Harriers, expectations from both fans and media are high.
The burning question on everybody’s lips is can Woking better their performances from last season and get over the line with a chance to enter the Football League.
Sarll has been busy in the summer making some fine acquisitions to last season’s squad.
The Woking gaffer has gone for experience players for another play off push to blend in and help a side last season that rightly gained so many plaudits.
Experienced 32-year-old keeper Joe Day has been added to the squad on a season long loan from League Two side Newport County.
From experience to youth with a young player who has been signed from Championship side Millwall. 20-year-old Nana Boateng who has joined the Cards on a six month loan deal.
Tunji Akinola, who has impressed in pre-season has been added to the squad along with 30-year-old midfielder Emmanuel Oyeleke and 33-year-old defender Greg Taylor from Cambridge United.
A squad on paper that looks to have all bases covered includes Sam Habergham an experienced defender who has made the move from Wealdstone along side 33-year-old Robbie Willmott who was snapped up from Newport County.
Among other additions, Matt Robinson will make the move from fellow National League side Dagenham & Redbridge along with Dennon Lewis who has been brought in from Boreham Wood.
Forward Charlie Wakefield has signed permanently from Sarll’s previous club Yeovil Town to add to an impressive squad for the season ahead.
To compensate for the loss of James Daly who has joined Football League side Harrogate Town and Kyran Lofthouse who has made the move to Yorkshire to play for Football League side Barnsley, to keep Dan Moss at the club could well turn out to be Sarll’s best signing of the summer.
Moss was one of the Cards most consistent and reliable player’s last season. To get him to stay at the club was a must, which has been delivered.
All in all, there is plenty of reasons to be optimistic for the long season ahead. Despite not having the likes of Wrexham and Notts County, it will once again be a very difficult league to get out off with the likes of Chesterfield clear favourites and the two relegated sides from the Football League Oldham and Hartlepool also warranting consideration.
However, If Woking can continue in the same vein as they did last season, come May the Cards may just be making history by playing in the Football League for the first time in their illustrious history.