Portsmouth relegation survival hero and ex-Bournemouth and Hawks favourite snubs National League return to face Gosport next season

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Instead the 34-year-old has opted to drop back into the Southern League Premier South after completing a deal to join Poole Town.

Fogden, who made 29 appearances during 18 months at Fratton Park, was part of a Dorking squad which last month defeated Ebbsfleet 3-2 in extra-time in the National South play-offs.

Former Pompey Academy striker Alfie Rutherford grabbed the winner for a side which also included ex-Hawks pair Jason Prior and Ed Harris and former Rocks players Dan Lincoln and Jimmy Muitt.

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It represented Dorking’s 12th promotion since being formed 23 years ago in 1999, yet, despite offered the chance to remain, Fogden won’t be part of that National League adventure.

Instead he has joined Tom Killick’s Poole, who finished 10th last season, one place behind Gosport.

The four-time promotion winner has cited the prospect of excess travelling in the National League as the driving force behind his decision not to accompany Dorking.

Fogden had been with Dorking since August 2020, following his departure from the Hawks.

Wes Fogden scored twice in 28 appearances for Pompey before leaving in July 2015. Picture: Joe Pepler

During a second West Leigh Park spell, the energetic midfielder was part of two promotion sides under Lee Bradbury, while named as player of the season for 2017-18.

He also featured in the Football League earlier in his career, representing Bournemouth, Yeovil and, of course, Pompey.

After joining the Cherries initially on loan in October 2011, he went on to make 59 appearances and scored six times during an injury-hampered stay.

He moved to Pompey in January 2014 as Richie Barker attempted to galvanise a Pompey side struggling in 20th in League Two.

Wes Fogden is mobbed after scoring the winner against Bristol Rovers in April 2014. Picture: Joe Pepler

Also arriving that month were Ryan Taylor, Nicky Shorey and Ben Chorley in a campaign threatening to end with relegation from the Football League.

Fogden went on to make 19 appearances that season and, crucially, grabbed the winner in a 3-2 Fratton Park victory over Bristol Rovers in April 2014 after appearing as a substitute.

That represented an important triumph as the Blues under caretaker boss Andy Awford staged a magnificent late recovery to stay up.

Fogden’s other goal arrived in a remarkable 4-4 draw at Bury, after Pompey had found themselves 3-0 down.

However, in the summer of 2014, with Awford now installed as permanent boss, the midfielder sustained an ACL in his knee during pre-season training, ruling him out until March 2015.

He returned to featured nine times, primarily from the bench, as Pompey finished a disappointing 16th, while Awford was dismissed towards the end of the campaign.

Out of contract in the summer of 2015 as Paul Cook arrived to begin his transformation, Fogden moved to fellow League Two club Yeovil.

He even lined-up against his former club in a goalless draw at Fratton Park in October 2015 as the midfielder tallied 18 appearances and one goal for the Glovers.

That would be his final Football League season, before returning to Hawks for a second spell and proving such a crucial figure.

Now he’s hoping to replicate his promotion success at Poole.

‘There was a lot interest in Wes from other clubs, including the club he has just left. I hope this signing, as with our first, excites our fans.

‘There will be more to come in the coming days and weeks.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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