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The Non-League Football Paper

Steve Claridge and Alan Dowson in the frame for Woking job

By David Richardson

Salisbury boss Steve Claridge and Hampton and Richmond manager Alan Dowson are the two frontrunners to land the vacant Woking job, The NLP understands.

The Cards suffered relegation from the National League last month and will appoint their new manager on Tuesday.

Six candidates have been interviewed with the board set to make their pick at a meeting tomorrow.

Dowson’s decision to take the job may depend on whether Hampton win promotion through the National League South play-offs this afternoon against Braintree.

The NLP understands Woking had intended to appoint their new manager yesterday although that date was delayed, likely due to Hampton reaching the final.

The board meeting tomorrow, where the club’s directors will consult with the four-man interview panel, could be to setback the process until the result of today’s fixture is known, despite director of football Geoff Chapple saying Tuesday’s announcement had not been affected by the play-offs.

It is our understanding the club are keen to keep assistant manager Jason Goodliffe, who was unable to save Woking having taken over the reins from rookie boss Anthony Limbrick when he was sacked with five games of the season remaining.

Whoever is appointed will have a large rebuilding job on their hands. The NLP believes that the majority of last season’s squad will move on, including England C star Josh Staunton, who signed on a two-year deal last summer.

Staunton is set to attend Jamie Vardy’s V9 Academy training camp at Manchester City at the start of June along with former Woking striker Inih Effiong while centre-back Joey Jones has been heavily linked with Stevenage.

Claridge, the former Portsmouth and Birmingham striker, has guided Salisbury to two automatic promotions in three seasons since the club reformed in 2015.

The Whites finished second in the EVO-STIK South West this season to reach Step 3 which Claridge believes is their natural level.

Dowson has a Bostik South and Bostik Premier title on his CV after championship victories with Kingstonian and Hampton.

In their first season back in the National League South, the Beavers finished seventh before claiming fourth spot this time around.

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