Lifelong West Ham United fan Bondz N’Gala cannot wait to face his old Club when Dagenham & Redbridge host the Hammers in a fundraising friendly next month.
Now 28, Academy of Football graduate N’Gala was born in Forest Gate, joined West Ham at 13 and spent six seasons in Claret and Blue, making his one and only first-team appearance in a League Cup defeat at Bolton Wanderers in September 2009.
After spells with a host of Football League and National League clubs, centre-back N’Gala returned to east London in summer 2017, when he joined the Daggers.
Now, he is set to face his old club for the first time in a special match organised to raise much-needed proceeds for the financially-stricken National League club on Wednesday 21 March, tickets for which can be purchased here with 100% of the proceeds going to the Daggers.
It is so important that we secure the future of Dagenham & Redbridge FC, so please come down and support us
“Everybody at the club is really looking forward to the game, not only because it will help raise some of the money we need, but also because it should be a good, competitive game between two professional teams,” said N’Gala.
“There is a massive crossover between the two clubs, with a lot of people being fans of both and lots of players, like me, making careers with Dagenham after leaving West Ham. This is a club that gives players a chance and it is so important that we secure the future of Dagenham & Redbridge FC, so please come down and support us on the night.
“Our manager John Still is a Newham boy like me and I know he is excited about welcoming the Hammers to our stadium. We’d love to get a big crowd in and hopefully we can put in a good performance and win the game, too!”
N’Gala has played more than 250 senior games during a well-travelled career that has included stops at Plymouth Argyle, Yeovil Town, Stevenage, Barnet, Portsmouth, Eastleigh, Dover Athletic and Leyton Orient.
The defender returned to the starting XI on Saturday and helped the Daggers to secure a 3-2 win over Chester at Chigwell Construction Stadium. With ten league games to go, N’Gala’s eye is on an unlikely promotion back to the Football League.
“It’s great to be back in east London, being from Newham, so it’s nice to be back home rather than playing and living in another part of the country, as I’ve been doing for most of my career!
“We are doing quite well in the National League, have won two of our last three games and are only a few points outside the Play-Off places, so promotion is still very much an achievable target for us, as it was at the start of the season.
“We have sold a few players, and we didn’t start the season with a particularly big squad but, if anything, the situation has pulled us closer together and we are not letting it affect us.
“If we could have a good game against West Ham, raise some money, then go on and reach the Play-Offs and win promotion at Wembley, that would be perfect!”
Seated and standing tickets for West Ham United’s friendly at Dagenham & Redbridge on Wednesday 21 March are available now from eticketing.co.uk/whufc, over the telephone on 0333 030 1966 or in person from the London Stadium Ticket Office priced at £10 Adults, £8 O65s and £3 U16s. Access on the night will be via the turnstile on Bury Road.