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League One interest in 32-goal non league player who ignored FA advice to give up career

There is big League One interest in 32-goal non league player Alfie Rutherford, who ignored FA advice to give up on his career.

The 23 year old is a striker who has just helped Dorking Wanderers secure promotion to the highest tier in their history, the National League, scoring 32 goals in 37 appearances for the 2021/22 season.

While the club missed out on the title, there they went on to win the National League South playoffs against Ebbsfleet United.

Rutherford was released by League One side Portsmouth a few years back, and has since played for the likes of Moneyfields, Havant & Waterlooville, Bognor Regis Town and Eastbourne, before becoming one of the most talking about players at non league level.

Rutherford was advised by the Football Association to quit playing during their teenage years due to a medical condition.

He was denied a Fratton Park scholarship in 2014 due to a heart condition – a two-year deal was withdrawn after he was diagnosed with aortic stenosis during a routine medical. This condition sees a narrow valve which consequently decreases blood flow from the heart. But he’s not let that stopped him from playing the game he loves.

Rutherford’s family were told of their son’s medical condition just after his birth, a bout of tonsillitis leading to an early discovery with keyhole surgery needed when he was 14 to open up the problematic valve, but Rutherford was back playing within a month.

‘I know the risks and personally don’t think there are any because I never feel in danger when I play. I don’t get out of breath easily, if anything I was probably one of the fitter players at Bognor,’ Rutherford told The News in 2016 after joining Havant.

He signed a new two and a half year contact at Dorking in January 2022, saying: “I’m very happy to sign a 2 year extension with Dorking. I really love the club and the journey I’ve been on so far, and I’m excited about what the future holds. It really feels like the club is on the up, and the fans have been absolutely brilliant with me. I’ve finally found my feet and form at Wanderers and long may that continue”.

However, Dorking might just be tempted to take advantage of the big League One interest in the 32-goal non league player who ignored FA advice to give up his career with Portsmouth also linked with bringing him back according to D3D4 Football. Will he stay? Will he go?


✍️ 2007 – Joined Sussex Div 3
⬆️ 2010/11 – Promoted to Sussex Div 2
⬆️ 2011/12 – Promoted to Sussex Div 1
⬆️ 2014/15 – Promoted to Isthmian South
⬆️ 2016/17 – Promoted to Isthmian Prem
⬆️ 2018/19 – Promoted to National League South
⬆️ 2021/22 – Promoted to National League

@braddersjw: Alfie Rutherford would be a smart piece of business if Pompey pulled it off, so please @Pompey get it done

@campbell1310: @CAFCofficial that’s worth a punt!! #cafc

@xLepebble: Oh go on then @LincolnCity_FC

@Jonathanacwort7: @CAFCofficial @jakemarques14 been following dorking progress this year have some decent tallent this guy especially deserves a look at

@Imiltd: Pompey go and get Alfie Rutherford

@George8udd: @Pompey reveal him 👍🏼

@Daniels41837955: Played against him when he was just 16 at Moneys – still have nightmares now, cracking player.

@Tsykesy: Hope so geezers a joke

@pompey9219: If this is true, then it’s absolute quality. Would love to see it. 🔵💯⚽️

@tomhwilliams23: Wow. Would be a huge blow to Dorking’s chances

@ShrimpersTalk: No chance of us signing Rutherford with the like of Pompey also sniffing about

@NHanshaw8: Be on more money at Dorking for sure

@greenspacesimon: Sounds a bit more like the profile of players #Pompey ought to be looking at #PUP

@ForeverOUFC: I’d def have him at my club, worth a shot at League One, cant see it happening though

Ollie Foster: Now this is exactly what we need

Ryan Biswell: Should never have got rid of him, he’s prove doubters wrong and now he needs a chance to flourish at EFL level

Simon Ardley: I’d be absolutely gutted if he leaves dorking. It’s a must we keep him or we’ll struggle next season, already lost some decent players

Brian Wainwright: Should he depart, thank you for everything Alfie

Eddie Stallwood: League One is too much a leap imo, reckon he should try his hand at League Two

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