My Favourite Sunday League Strikers

Being straight up, my brief on this one was to call up the best strikers in Sunday League football in South London. I had an ask around for opinions. I asked the SELK contributors and I asked some of my network on their opinion, and to be honest, I could have had 50 options for this article.

So, in order to remain credible in my article, I’ve changed the brief and I apologise to Rootz TV, because I betrayed their trust. But Clinton will understand why I’ve done what I’ve done. Authenticity is the key for me, and him. Hope we’re good!

My view for this article, was to base things on my own eyes, thoughts and what I’ve been around in game whilst refereeing in the OBDSFL and WESFA. I think it's important to do so. So, apologies to those CMSFL strikers (Steve Lewington, Rory Deacon, Reece Jackson and Bradley Hudson Odoi) who were mentioned in my chats, but having not seen those guys play, I didn’t feel I could pass comment on them.

A nod to the Old(er) School

Before I get into the current picks I want to say, I have three strikers who I want to give a mention to. These players aren’t in my main list. Their god-like statuses to me, deserves a special mention, and most of their goals were scored before FA Full Time started adding stats, so before I review players who played in Seasons 18/19, 19/20 and 20/21 I feel it is correct to take a look at the players I first admired as a fledgling referee in the OBDSFL.

Firstly, probably my favourite player from the OBDSFL of all time. Anthony Weir. Anyone who knows about FC Bickley’s history will know about Anthony or Beaver as he will be known from now on in this article. A fierce competitor, a grafter, a finisher, off the ball movement and heading. Beaver has it all and was a joy to watch and a more than worthy adversary during a game too for me.

Next, Marc Dolby. A surname more recognisable to the younger followers of Sunday football with an SE Dons player who is Marc’s younger brother. But Marc Dolby lead one of the most successful teams to play in South London for many years Baldon Sports. Marc was a defender’s nightmare with his work rate, pressing and chasing of every lost cause, notching a lot of goals at same time. The trophy cabinet speaks for itself but anyone who knows anything will give Marc the credit he deserves.

Finally, Andrew Dalhouse. I first saw Andrew playing for Hatcham. He was such a classy player and had a style of play I really admire. Working the defender, hustle and bustle, unreal strength and all types of finishes. He moved to Vista and spearheaded the clubs rise to the top of the OBDSFL tree. He carried Vista for a year and looked awesome as part of a struggling side before moving to Lambeth All Stars this summer and is still amongst the goals. Thank you to these boys for the viewing pleasure over the years.

My picks from the last 3 Seasons

This wasn’t easy, not at all.

Players who have missed out may have done so because they weren’t plying their trade in the top division or because I haven’t seen them live. To be the best, and if we are looking at stats like I have done, I felt it only right to note players in the OBDSFL or WESFA’s top division. That’s not elitist, my thought is that to be considered the best, you need to play against the best.

Notable players who aren’t on the final list include;

Danny Edwards (Woolwich 90 – WESFA), Femi Orenuga (Long Lane, Peckham Rye and UTR - WESFA), Tommy Lau (Lullingstone – OBDSFL), Kozzie (FC Royals/Peckham Rye – WESFA), Kieran Pallett (Duchess of Kent - WESFA), Josh Patrick (SCT – OBDSFL), Billy Bennett (Blendon – OBDSFL), Louie Clarke (Hacienda – OBDSFL), Tony Rawlings (Milldean – WESFA) and Steve Townsend (FOBG Res – OBDSFL).

All fantastic players who would grace any top division side.

*stats taken from FA Full Time website

Zak Ansah

If you don’t know about Zak, where have you been! If you are talking complete players Zak is that. His goals speak for themselves, but putting them in context, he’s scored all of them in high pressure situations given the scrutiny SE Dons face with a baying YouTube comments section awaiting the outcome of every game.

Zak makes anyone’s best XI on Sunday football, without question, and to not pick him would be based on pure tribalism rather than recognizing the best we have in Sunday football. A player I’ve had the pleasure of sharing a pitch with and a class act as a person and footballer.

Nathaniel Pinney

Nathaniel is a well-known player around South London, with a fantastic pedigree as youngster. He has been a part of Kumazi Strikers for years and their rise to the elite in South London, cementing their place with the OBDSFL Senior Title in Season 18/19.

Nathaniel was pivotal in that year where he notched more goals than games played. He did the same the year after before the season was halted due to COVID. An awesome player who maybe doesn’t get the dues he deserves from the grassroots community, probably because he plays for a club who just get the job done.

Omari Hibbert

Winja is a player who has been in and around several teams at their peak. Vista and Kenningwell are OBDSFL stalwarts and Omari was there throughout some of the respective clubs best days. I saw him during both of those spells, and he is a born winner. He currently plays at Lambeth All Stars where he more than holds his own with arguably the best attacking roster in the OBDSFL. Ryan Gondoh, Aaron Watson and Andrew Dalhouse are all there, which is frightening. But Winja is a top player and his goals along with spearheading the LAS movement puts him on this list. He maintained a strong record during LAS’ Met League days and now in the OBDSFL. The step up in quality and return to the OBDSFL Senior hasn’t phased him.

Victor Okisor

Victor throughout his Vista days meant goals. Goals, goals and more goals. Pace, excellent runs and a natural finisher. Golden boot winner during Vista’s peak days he was unplayable at times.

A move to Kenningwell where injuries or unavailability didn’t allow much playing time the only small blemish on his recent record, he is now back amongst the goals for a resurgent Kumazi Strikers.

Sam Bailey

Sam is known these days as playing as part of YouTube side Under the Radar, but he was a part of one of the most dominant WESFA teams there has been, Welling Town A too. Before that he was notching for Hornfair in the Met League.

When you consider he is usually utilised as a wider forward his goal scoring record is nuts. Horrendously underrated due to the only recent emergence of WESFA’s quality by the grassroots community, Sam’s quality has always been known amongst those in the know. Very direct and focused purely on hitting the back of the net. Sam is a problem, for sure.

Luke Coleman

Like Beaver from FC Bickley, Luke’s game is so much more than goals. But as you can see, he scores a lot of goals. Again, because of his affinity with WESFA, he hasn’t really been spoken about by many more than the WESFA community. His movement, subtle touches and finishing is sublime.

Playing with his mates at the evergreen Barnehurst in WESFA’s Premier Division, for me he is the complete striker, and the type of striker I like. Dropping into half spaces, taking up positions that pull midfielders and defenders out of position, he is an intelligent player. He scores all types of goals. If you get the chance, go and watch him in action.