Hendon Green & Gold 40 - Dave Diedhiou

Greensnet Editor
Wed 05 Aug 2015, 17:36

The player featured today is a current member of the squad, the last Hendon player ever to score at Claremont Road, Dave Diedhiou.

Dave Diedhiou was 19, and a recent migrant from Senegal in West Africa, when he joined Hendon in the summer of 2008, having previously played for Middlesex County League Willesden Constantine. Dave made his debut, coming on as an 86th-minute substitute against Sutton United at Gander Green Lane. A month later, on 20 September 2008, Dave wrote himself into the Hendon record books, though in a very sad way. His first goal for the Greens, midway through the second half of a 4-1 loss to Wealdstone, would be the last one scored by a Hendon player at Claremont Road (he also netted the last disallowed goal at Claremont Road - had it stood it would have made the score 3-2).

Dave spent most of that first season on a dual registration arrangement with Wembley, so - although playing in the first match of the London Senior Cup run that season (a penalty-shoot-out victory over Bromley at Hayes Lane) - he was not involved in the Final victory against Croydon Athletic. A strong, physical presence, Dave has suffered for being so good in many different positions, in both defence and midfield, and this has probably hurt his career because until last season he never played more than 47 matches in a season and in seven campaigns - including the current one - almost a quarter of his appearances have been as a substitute, but for a defender/midfielder his strike rate is very good, a rate of a goal every 8.5 games.

In 2009-10, Dave was regular member of the squad and made 45 appearances, but it was a season of struggle for the Greens, with no cup success either. The following year was a different story; there was a trip to the FA Cup first round and a run to the London Senior Cup final. Dave missed half of the season, but was back for the London semi-final, when he scored the winning goal against AFC Wimbledon (who were battling for a Conference Premier playoff berth) at Kingsmeadow. Sadly the final turned out to be disappointing - a 3-1 loss to Wingate & Finchley. But, in just 28 appearances, Dave scored five times, his second best return for the Greens.

Hendon enjoyed their best season for many years in 2011-12. Aided by veterans, such as Darren Currie, Isaiah Rankin and, briefly, Frank Sinclair, together with new coach Junior Lewis, the Greens played some fantastic football and went all the way to win the London Senior Cup, giving Dave his first winners medal. The team performance in crushing Kingstonian 2-0 at Imber Court, Metropolitan Police was outstanding, as had been the semi-final victory over AFC Wimbledon, who were now a Football League club. As proof of his versatility, Dave was at right-back in the semi-final and in the centre of midfield in the final. Despite a flying finish to the campaign, Hendon missed out on the playoffs by three points and two places.

Dave missed much of the first part of the 2012-13 season, and played little part in the run to the FA Cup first round, though he was an unused substitute in the narrow and heart-breaking defeat at League Two Aldershot Town. In the Ryman League, however, with Dave absent, Hendon struggled hugely and they would have gone bottom had they not beaten Thurrock in mid-December. In the second half of the season - during which time Hendon played two-thirds of their Ryman League fixtures, Dave was back and went on to play in 33 matches, though his goal return was down to just two goals.

2013-14 was Dave's best for Hendon, both in terms of appearances and goals. He appeared in 47 matches and contributed nine goals, including the last one of the season against Margate. But if he had he been able to convert one more chance in that game, he would have been the fourth Greens player to reach double figures, along with Jefferson Louis, Leon Smith and Anthony Thomas.

Dave's continued importance to the team might have been best illustrated by the defeat at Dorchester Town in this season's FA Cup - Dave was sick and the Greens performance was lack-lustre in the 1-0 defeat. He scored only five goals last season and the one he scored against Leiston was the perfect example of all Dave best attributes: surprising speed, great strength, excellent anticipation and a magnificent technique. When Dave Diedhiou is fit and playing well, Hendon are much harder to beat.

Joined Hendon: Summer 2008
Appearances : 254. Goals: 29
Winners medal won: London Senior Cup 2011-12, 2014-15. Isthmian League Cup 2014-15