And Here Endeth 22/23

by Peter Scherer

When he played Bedford Town back in November, Gary Setchell was the manager and they were 10th in the league. We won 2-0 but at the end of the same month, Setchell left and Paul Davis was appointed, but resigned after only three games.

They have lost every game since and haven’t taken a point since drawing 0-0 at Hitchin on January 23rd and have failed to score in their last 10 games.

Division One Central Champions last year, but they are now in 20th place and heading back down again.

Graeme Tomlinson is the current manager, he joined the coaching staff in the summer of 2020, after an excellent playing career, starting at Bradford City earned him a move to Manchester United playing alongside Eric Cantona and the class of ’92.

He had four loan spells while with the Red Devils at Wimbledon, Luton, AFC Bournemouth & Millwall. After leaving United, he played for Macclesfield Town, Exeter City, Stevenage, Kingstonian, St. Albans City, Stotfold, Dunstable Town and a spell with Bedford Town in 2003.

Lewis Elsom and Elliott Duffy have been sharing the goalkeeping duties of late. Elsom is an ex Peterborough Utd Junior, who played for Deeping Rangers and Arlesey Town, before joining Peterborough Sports. He has currently been  on a dual registration from Peterborough since November, having had a similar arrangement with Spalding earlier in the season.

Duffy is a home grown talent, who had his first full contract in July 2021.

Jack Keeble was a summer signing, a centre back who began his career at Grimsby Town. He moved on to Stamford and St Neots and spent a year at Wisbech before joining our hosts.

Sam Dreyer originally came on loan in December 2021 from Stevenage, but the centre back’s stay became permanent last September. He also had loan spells at Biggleswade and Hendon, but then left our hosts to join Peterborough Utd in January, but came back on loan again the following day.

Centre back Ben Tompkins is on loan too from Luton Town, having started off at Barnet.

Junior Gyamfi is a midfielder who is another loanee from MK Dons, which is where fellow midfielder Connor Furlong started his career. He was loaned to Oxford City and Aylesbury Utd before coming to Bedford on his release in 2018.

After a year with our hosts, St Ives, Barton Rovers, Biggleswade and Rushden were his next stops, before returning to Bedford last month, after five months at Royston.

Midfielder George Thorne is well known locally after his spell with the Rams. His career started at West Bromwich Albion and was loaned to Portsmouth, Peterborough and Watford, before joining Derby in 2014.

He was loaned to Luton again and joined Oxford again after another loan. But injuries ended his full-time career and he came to Bedford in September 2022 after two years out. He was capped for England at Under 16,17,18,19 and 20 level.

Will Summerfield is a central midfielder and former MK Dons Junior. He was at Hemel, Kempston Rovers and Berkhamsted, before joining Bedford in July 2020.

Drew Richardson is another central midfielder who arrived in July 2020 too, from Biggleswade. He was a former Luton Town Junior.

Connor Tomlinson is a young striker who had scored quite a few goals earlier in the season. A former Luton Town Junior, he came to Bedford in July 2019.

Joe Butterworth is a central midfielder in his second season at Bedford, after arriving from Stamford last November, following almost five years at Yaxley.

Defender Kai Phelan was a pre-season signing from Barton Rovers. He also played for Hitchin and YIK in Sweden, after playing as a Luton Town Junior.

Experienced midfielder Callum Donnelly first joined Bedford for the 2017/18 season but had brief spells away at Shefford Town & Campton and Biggleswade. He played much of his career at Hitchin and has also been at Stotfold, Barton Rovers, Cambridge City and Baldock. He is also assistant manager.

Midfielder Josh Page is home produced player, but has also played in Australia with Perth Scorchers and been loaned to Dunstable Town and Eynesbury Rovers, since returning to our hosts in December 2020.

Striker Rene Howe started out at Bedford in 2006, before being picked up by Peterborough Utd. His league career carried on via Rochdale, Lincoln, Morecambe, Gillingham, Rushden and Bristol Rovers, all on loan.

He was finally released by Peterborough and joined Torquay in 2011, before moving to Burton Albion and Newport, having played over 250 League games, with over 60 goals.

After a short spell at Kettering he was out of football for three years, before rejoining Hendon. He has since played for Kings Langley, Walton Casuals and Farnborough, returning to Bedford in August 2020. He left for Ware after two years, but returned to Bedford again last December.

Former MK Dons defender Joe Steele was signed from Dunstable in November 2018 and has also played for Arlesey, but has been out with a knee injury for the last year or more.

Carlos Lyon is another well-travelled striker. A former Brentford Junior, he left them for Billericay, where Southend Utd picked him up. He was loaned to Hayes & Yeading before joining Alloa Athletic, who then loaned him to Brechin City and Stirling Albion, before rejoining Billericay on his release in 2017.

After a spell at Grays Athletic he went back to Scotland, with Brechin, Stranraer, Dumbarton, Peterhead and Cowdenbeath, before returning to England with Cheshunt in January. After another loan at FC Romania, he came to Bedford in February.

Right back Rio Da Silva had spells with Luton and Chelsea before joining Dunstable in 2018. He moved on to Hitchin a year later and came to Bedford last month.

Nathaniel Sheriff and Kyle Jozwiak are both home grown talent. Sheriff is a young centre back and came into the squad in February. Jozwiak is a midfielder, who got his contract one month earlier.

Midfielder Lucas Kirkpatrick also arrived last month, for his second spell with the club. He started out at Hitchin and was loaned to Langford, but racked up over 200 games, before moving to Braintree and Berkhamsted Biggleswade. He then came to Bedford for the 2018/19 season, before moving on Braintree, Berkhamsted, Dunstable and Crawley Green, before his arrival at Bedford.

D’Sean Theobalds is another recent arrival. He started at West Ham and moved swiftly via Leatherhead, Concord Rangers and Tonbridge before venturing to Korona Kielce in Poland.

He came back to the UK with Tonbridge, before returning to Poland with Unia Tarnow. He then joined Dartford, moving to Welling, Kingstonian and Concord Rangers and came to Bedford in February.

With Rushall having beaten Rushden last night, our outside chance of a play-off is over, but now guaranteed sixth place in the league, it’s been a successful season without doubt. Kick off is 3pm as usual.

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