All Smiles: Dave Waters (right) shares a joke with teammate Kieron Tarbie Photo: Dave Anderson
Talk to most footballers and they’ll tell you that moving from one club to another is not an easy procedure.
You have to make new friends, adapt to a different tactical system and do all you can to get the fans on your side. These things don’t usually happen overnight.
But if the case of Dave Waters is anything to go by, it sometimes takes just over a week for everything to click.
Waters, 34, joined Fisher from Croydon 10 days ago, but his performances so far suggest that he has been playing for the Bermondsey side for a few years.
The centre-half has notched three goals in as many games for the Fish – his opener in Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Rochester United was followed up by a quick-fire first-half brace against Lordswood on Saturday, helping his side to an eventual 3-0 victory.
Waters has also looked a calm, authoritative presence in defence. He puts his head where most wouldn’t dare to put a boot and knows how to organise a back four. His defensive contributions have already yielded palpable results – Saturday’s shutout against Lordswood was Fisher’s first clean sheet since the end of January.
In the thick of it: Waters (centre) celebrates a goal with Luke Haidarovic (centre) Photo: Dave Anderson
Waters was suitably pleased with his team’s display against the Lords and was more than happy to get on the score sheet twice.
“It was a big 3 points – we needed that.” He said. “Hopefully we’ll be fine in terms of staying up now. We just need to stick to the basics at the back and if we do that I’m sure we can pick up some more clean sheets before the end of the season.
“I’m enjoying scoring goals at the moment – a lot of the players here take set-pieces really well, so as long as they keep on putting the right balls into the box and I continue to get on the end of them, we’ll score more from corners and free kicks.
“A few years ago I scored around 12 goals in one season which is good for a centre-half, so I hope to keep up this goalscoring form.”
Waters is originally from Sydenham and currently lives in Farnborough. He has played for a handful of clubs in and around the London area, such as Beckenham Town, Greenwich Borough and Corinthian Casuals.
His decision to move from Croydon to Fisher was partly based on a conversation with the Fish boss Dean Harrison, who he knew before signing for the club.
“I know Dean and he asked me to come down to Fisher and help the side to stay up.” He said. “My friend Terry also works with the sponsors of the Fisher kit so that was another link I had with the club.
“Being from Sydenham, I’ve played football in Dulwich quite a bit before as it isn’t too far away. I used to play on the 7-a-side pitches just down the road from Champion Hill.
“Despite Dulwich Hamlet also using this pitch, it is in good condition – you can tell the groundsman looks after it very well.”
Waters faces a trip to one of his former clubs when Fisher take on Beckenham Town in a local derby later today, and the defender is targeting another clean sheet.
A win for Fisher, as well as a loss for bottom side Erith Town against Tunbridge Wells, would be enough to stave off any lingering fears of relegation for the Rotherhithe side.
This sequence of results would see Fisher pull 13 points clear of Erith Town, who only have 12 more points to play for after today.
Close To Safety: Fisher manager Dean Harrison has helped to guide the Bermondsey club out of the relegation zone Photo: Dave Anderson
And Waters says a solid defensive showing will be key in ensuring a positive result is achieved against rivals Beckenham.
“We need to build on our defensive performance against Lordswood and keep another clean sheet at Beckenham” He said. “I know how they play – they attack very quickly on the break, so that’s something we have to be wary of.
“If we don’t try any silly stunts in our own half – like we did against Deal and at times in the Rochester game – then we can get a clean sheet and hopefully grab a win as well.
“It will be a very tough game though, it’s a derby and Beckham always attract a large support. A fair few Fisher fans will head down there as well – the atmosphere is going to be great.”
The home crowd at Eden Park Avenue inspired Beckenham to a stirring 5-4 victory over 10-man Cray Valley last Tuesday.
Winger Travis Gregory plundered 4 goals for the Becks, taking his tally to 6 strikes in his last 2 games.
Fisher know what Gregory is capable of, as the attacker scored a thumping 30-yard effort at Champion Hill when the two sides met in the reverse fixture in August last year.
That match ended 3-3, with Beckenham coming from behind three times to salvage a point.
The Fish will be looking to go one better than that result this time, and gain a three point haul.
A win in the back yard of your biggest rivals – can you think of a more glorious way in which to confirm SCEFL survival? Nope, didn’t think so.
Kick off: 3pm
Address: 374, Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham, BR3 3JL
Directions: the nearest railway station to Beckenham’s ground is Eden Park – trains run there directly from Victoria, Lewisham and Catford. There is no direct service from South Bermondsey.