Midfielder Leon Solomon is close to a return to the Hampton lineup after fears in the close season that he might not play again because of a long-standing knee injury.
Solomon was captain of the Ryman championship-winning side but aggravated the injury towards the end of last season. He has had an operation and remained with the club while he recovered. He’s now in full training and Dowse says he could make his long-awaited return in the Middlesex Senior Cup tie at Enfield Town the week after next.
He said: “We’ve missed his steadying influence in midfield and I would be delighted to have him back in the squad. He’s a great person to have in the dressing room and on the training field and now I want him to show me he’s match fit.”
Speaking on Saturday to the press team's Oliver Thomas, Leon was 'very happy' to be back in the squad.
"I should have been back sooner, but in July, the day before the operation on the knee, I sliced my finger at work. Then the surgeon was off for a whole month so it didn't take place until late August."
The injury itself occurred with no one around him, and Leon remembers it clearly, "The knee just locked as I tried to push up. I couldn't straighten the leg at all. I was on crutches for a while, I didn't think it was all over straight away, but it always goes through your mind with such an injury."
Leon admitted it might take a while for him to get back into the starting 11, "It's a strong squad, and it's always improving so I've got to keep my head down and work hard, then when I get my chance, I've got to take it."
The midfielder is clearly raring to go, back in the holding midfield role he made his own at Beveree, "I love that holding role; going forward and scoring goals is not really my style although I can do it! My main instinct is to defend and keep clean sheets, and that's what I love to do."
Given the strength of the squad, Leon clearly believes the club can go on. "We've a strong squad and I don't see why we can't push for the playoffs. If we get there, we'll be looking to win those and go up into the National League itself. Its not a massive ask if we can keep this roll going and convert draws into wins."
For Oliver's interview in full, click here.
Updated 17:03 - 30 Oct 2017 by Rob Overfield