Dolan feels ‘kicked in the teeth’ after Hawks exit

Joe Dolan celebrates in the Westleigh Park dressing room after his last-gasp heroics against Staines  Picture: Dave Haines
Joe Dolan celebrates in the Westleigh Park dressing room after his last-gasp heroics against Staines Picture: Dave Haines
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Joe Dolan feels like he’s been ‘kicked in the teeth’ by the Hawks after being released by the club – less than two weeks after his last-gasp goal saved them from relegation.

Dolan netted the 93rd-minute winner on the final day of the season on April 29 to help beat Staines.

If it wasn’t for those heroics, the Hawks would have been relegated from Blue Square Bet South.

Despite being the toast of Westleigh Park, though, Dolan has now been shown the exit door.

Within an hour of the new management team of boss Stuart Ritchie and his assistant Sean New being unveiled on Tuesday night, Dolan was told his services were no longer required.

Although not totally unexpected by the 31-year-old defender, it still came as a blow.

‘I’ve gone from hero to zero,’ said Dolan.

‘I half expected it and that was why I went to speak to them face to face.

‘That was better than hanging around waiting for a phone call.

‘It’s never nice when it happens and it’s like a kick in the teeth.

‘Football can be cruel and its one of the reasons it’s the game we love.

‘At first, when they (Ritchie and New) were asking my opinions on a number of things, I thought they were going to keep me but it wasn’t the case.

‘I would have preferred it if they’d come straight out with it rather than lead me down the garden path.

‘I am a big personality and maybe they thought that could be an issue.’

Dolan was brought in for the final two months of the season by previous-manager Shaun Gale.

The Hawks needed a leader and a ‘voice’ on the pitch in their bid to avoid relegation and Dolan came up with the goods in dramatic fashion.

‘A few of us were brought in to keep the Hawks up and that is what we did,’ said Dolan.

‘We all stood up and were counted, even if it took to the very last kick.’

Dolan is now considering whether to carry on playing or to move into coaching.

He obtained his Uefa B coaching licence last year and is intending to complete the A licence in Ireland during the summer.

‘In some ways. scoring the goal that kept the Hawks up could be the best way to finish,’ said Dolan.

‘But I have been on the phone already talking to clubs and will wait to see what happens.

‘I enjoyed my short time with the Hawks and made a number of friends.

‘They have a good young side and I would love to see them go on and do well.’

Dolan is unlikely to be the only casualty as Ritchie looks to reshape his side.

Experienced midfielder Sammy Igoe could be another player to leave the Hawks.

It is understood Igoe is considering his future after being offered reduced terms.