As part of our celebrations to commemorate the Club’s 25th anniversary this summer, we are inviting fans to select their all-time Shots XI from 1992-2017.
The team will be announced on Tuesday 1 August, exactly 25 years to the day since The Shots played their first ever game, in the Simpsonair Trophy tournament at Camberley Town’s Krooner Park.
We’ve already asked you to choose our goalkeeper and right-back, and this week we need two centre-backs from a long list of defenders who have graced the team over a quarter of a century. Please choose your favourites of these stellar candidates – or make your own nomination – and email TWO NAMES to email@example.com with SHOTS XI in the subject line. Alternatively, send a tweet to @OfficialShots using #ShotsXI.
Ollie Adedeji (1999-2002, 123 apps, 1 goal): A strong and stylish defender, Ollie was The Shots’ Player of the Year in his first season with the Club. He also won both the Isthmian League Charity Shield and Hampshire Cup and reached the second round of the FA Cup, as The Shots finished second in the Ryman Premier Division behind Dagenham & Redbridge. After his controversial departure from The Rec, Ollie went one better with Braintree Town in 2006.
Keith Baker (1992-95, 137 apps, 2 goals): Although in the 22nd year of his career upon joining The Shots, Baker’s unflappable demeanour and calming influence – plus vast experience in assisting manager Steve Wignall – proved a huge factor in gaining promotion from Isthmian League Division Three in our first season. Keith, a cabin steward for British Airways, was then named 1993-94 Player of the Year (alongside Steve Harris) at the age of 39 and finally played his last game aged 54!
Omar Beckles (2015-16, 47 apps, 1 goal): Named Supporters’ Player of the Year in his only season with The Shots, Omar’s imposing defending and quality on the ball made him an instant fans’ favourite at the EBB Stadium. Part of the side which took Bradford City to an FA Cup replay, Omar’s outstanding form earned him a move to League Two Accrington Stanley.
Anthony Charles (2002-11, 229 apps, 15 goals): Sixth in our all-time top 10 of appearance makers, Charles graced The Shots in three spells and won both the Isthmian League Premier Division and Blue Square Premier titles as well as being named Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year in 2008-09. In our second Football League season, Anthony captained the side into the League Two Play-Offs and became the first Shots player to make 100 Football League appearances.
Rhys Day (2006-09, 112 apps, 9 goals): Captain of the Blue Square Premier title-winning side, the former Wales Under 21 international was also part of the team which achieved a club-best run to the FA Cup third round in January 2007. Day also led us to the FA Trophy semi-final even though he had to sit out much of the title run-in through injury. In 2010 he won a second promotion to the Football League with Oxford United.
Steve Harris (1992-94, 104 apps, 9 goals): Missed just one league game in our inaugural and triumphant 1992-93 season, having previously captained Farnham Town to consecutive Combined Counties League titles. He then played a major role in promotion from Isthmian League Division Two in our second season, and played in all nine ties of our run to the FA Vase quarter-finals, before surprisingly becoming the first player to leave The Rec for a fee, as Basingstoke Town paid £2000 for his imposing services.
Darren Jones (2010-12, 97 apps, 1 goal): A dominant centre-back who was named both Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year in 2012, a season in which he was Club Captain and featured in Carling Cup ties against West Ham United and Manchester United. In total, Darren has made over 300 Football League appearances.
Dominic Sterling (2002-04, 99 apps, 2 goals): Enjoyed two hugely successful seasons with The Shots, winning the Isthmian Premier Division title and Hampshire Cup in his first year, before reaching the Conference Play-Off Final and FA Trophy semi-final in 2004. A composed and athletic defender, Dominic only left when The Shots turned full-time.
Stuart Udal (1992-97, 236 apps, 4 goals): Udal’s uncompromising presence in The Shots’ back four was a highlight of our early days, as he earned two promotions, in 1993 and 1994, and a 1995 Player of the Year award on his way to fourth in our all-time appearance list.
Ray Warburton (2003-05, 98 apps, 5 goals): An undisputed legend at virtually every club he has played for, Warbs joined midway through our Isthmian Premier Division-winning season and came within a penalty-shoot-out of achieving a third promotion to the Football League in four years as The Shots lost the 2004 Play-Off Final to Shrewsbury Town. Injury eventually forced his retirement, but Warburton’s 2004 Supporters’ Player of the Year award illustrated his influence.