Roger hails biggest game in history

ROGER Wosahlo has dedicated 18 years of his life to Ipswich Wanderers.And the 59-year-old says that this Saturday's home FA Carlsberg Vase fifth round tie against AFC Totton is the most important game in the Ridgeons League club's history.

By Elvin King

ROGER Wosahlo has dedicated 18 years of his life to Ipswich Wanderers.

And the 59-year-old says that this Saturday's home FA Carlsberg Vase fifth round tie against AFC Totton is the most important game in the Ridgeons League club's history.

Wanderers have already played six games in the national competition to get this far - and victory over the Wessex League Premier Division opponents will put them into the last eight.

A game at the new Wembley Stadium would then be only two wins away!

Formed in 1988/89 out of Sunday club Loadwell Transport - when a second division of the Ridgeons League was introduced - Wanderers have twice won the Division One title (1998 and 2005).

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And they also lifted the East Anglian Cup with a victory over St Neots in 1999.

“The Totton game will be our most important,” said Wosahlo, who played professional football for Chelsea and Ipswich Town, and was assistant manager at Sudbury Town before joining Wanderers in 1990, originally as joint manager with Scott Clarke.

He has since played a major part in keeping the club at the forefront of football in the Ipswich area, spending an average of 20 hours every week at the Humber Doucy Lane ground.

“To beat Totton and go further in the Vase - with the prospect of a Wembley appearance - is what we are looking for.

“It would mean so much to Wanderers - and probably make it as a club.”

Wosahlo, who is now development officer, hopes to see work start on improving facilities at Humber Doucy Lane later this year, and added: “We have mended and made good for many a year now, and it cannot go on much longer.

“To retain our credibility we need to improve the ground.”

Wosahlo looks upon himself as a dinosaur for his long-service, adding: “People don't stay with clubs for any length of time these days.

“But I have no regrets, although I am not immune to domestic pressures and am indebted to having an understanding wife in Marilyn.”

Being thrashed 4-1 by Haverhill Rovers in the 1996/97 Suffolk Senior Cup final was the low point for Wosahlo, who feels the appointment of Jason Dozzell as manager three seasons ago was a big turning point.

“People became more aware of us from that point,” added Wosahlo, who had a tear in his eye after the 2-1 Vase victory over Lowestoft in the previous round.

“We were reluctant to lose him, but his successor John Clarkson is our first manager to put money into the club.

“And it is particularly pleasing that the players have responded to his style of management in the Vase.”

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