Falana: Let's get Tonbridge promoted (EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW)

Wednesday 01st March 2006

Wade Falana pays a visit to Horsham’s Queen Street on Saturday - a ground that has “good memories” for the big target man, writes Stephen McCartney.

The last time the 34-year-old played there, he helped Bromley clinch promotion into the Ryman Premier League.

After Bromley goalkeeper, Andy Walker saved Lee Carney’s 21st minute penalty, Falana gave Bromley the lead five minutes later.

Horsham’s prolific striker, Jamie Taylor equalised just before half time, but wonder strikes from Allan McLeod and Colin Luckett secured the crucial 3-1 victory.

Falana made his return to Tonbridge Angels on Tuesday night, coming off the bench for the final 13 minutes of their dour goal-less stalemate with arch-rivals Dover Athletic.

Reflecting on the game, Falana said: “It was nice to come on. I wished I came on a little bit earlier but it wasn’t to be.

“But overall there weren’t much chance for either side, so 0-0 was about fair.”

The experienced striker, whose scored a hat-full for several clubs and scares defenders with his aerial presence, added: “I’m just pleased to be at a club where I’ve been before, with nice surroundings.

“I’ve been here before so I know what its like. It’s a good little club - I’m glad to be back playing football.”

Falana, whose been training with the Angels for the past week, hasn’t played since January when he was released by Ryman Premier League club Bromley.

“Everyone knows about my feelings about Bromley,” he insisted. “First of all its my club. That will always be my first club and will always be my first love, no matter what happens.”

He was, however, stunned to be informed the manager that released him from his “beloved” Bromley, George Wakeling, has been told, along with Billy Smith and Frank Coles, that their services won’t be required at Hayes Lane next season.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” he said after being told the news. “Actually I got on well with all three of them. I’ve known Frank for years and George and Billy were good to me.

“They gave me a chance to go back to Bromley last season and we got promoted and I owe them that because I wanted to get Bromley Football Club promoted.”

Reflecting on his departure from Hayes Lane, Falana said: “This season I didn’t play as much as I’ve liked to and despite all what everyone may think happened at Bromley, we all parted on good terms.

“I’ve got love for Bromley but on the news you’re telling me, I’m upset for them because I know they love the club as well.

“But at the end of the day the club has moved on and hopefully they’ll move on and part on good terms at the end of the season.”

Falana has earned “Legendary” status from the Hayes Lane faithful - something he acknowledges.

“I’ve got to say Bromley and their supporters showed me love. I always look out for their results.”

Falana has a message for Mark Goldberg and Murray Jones who take over at the helm next season.

“You are talking over one of the best non-league clubs. No, their taking over THE best non-league club around and they’ve got a good club to manage.”

He admitted he’s still got the fire in his belly for bringing promotion to Tonbridge and is relishing Saturday’s six-pointer at Horsham.

If results go their way, Tonbridge could join their Kent rivals Ramsgate in the top two promotion spots - but they have to collect three points in West Sussex first.

“Horsham carries good memories for me,” recalled Falana. “Last year our play-off (final) win for Bromley got us up so hopefully we can go down there and get a good result.

“’It’s a big game, second versus fourth, but these are the games I want to be involved in.

“We’re looking forward to it. We are going to give it a right go. We respect them but we don’t fear them.”

At the age of 34 Falana may not possess the same ability he had when he first played for the Angels.

“I’m not what I was and I’ll admit that - I’m not what I used to be when I was in my Braintree days and previously down at Tonbridge.

“But I always give it my all. I’ll keep on until my legs give way, but I love playing football.

“Everyone who knows me, whatever club I’ve been at, will know I always give 100 per cent.

“What I’m trying to do is get Tonbridge promoted and do what I did last year at Bromley.”

Angels’ player-manager Tony Dolby, meanwhile, is pleased with the players attitude since his return.

He said: “Wade’s been around and he knows the game. He’s obviously nowhere near as fit as what he could be as he hasn’t played a great deal this season.

“But his attitude’s first class and he’s going to cause many defences problems.”