New Daggers boss Taylor to experiment with young side as friendlies begin
PUBLISHED: 17:30 11 July 2018
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Dagenham & Redbridge will be back in action this week as they look to mould their new-look squad together ahead of the 2018/19 National League season.
Daggers will use the matches this week to rotate their young squad as new manager Peter Taylor searches for his starting eleven ahead of their opening match against Boreham Wood.
Taylor’s side were due to play a behind-closed-doors friendly against Bostik North outfit Heybridge in their first pre-season friendly last night (Tuesday).
They are then welcoming a West Ham United XI on Friday evening to Victoria Road before also hosting League Two side Colchester United on Tuesday evening.
The club has lost a handful of key players this summer including Mark Cousins, Craig Robson, Andre Boucaud, Charlee Adams and Daniel Sparkes, who have all joined former manager John Still at league rivals Barnet.
They have also seen Luke Howell and Jake Howells let their contracts expire to join Aldershot and Billericay Town.
Defender Bondz N’Gala is another one who has left the club this summer after having his contract terminated and striker Mason Bloomfield left the club to join Championship outfit Norwich City and has since been sent on loan to Scottish Premiership side Hamilton Academical.
But Taylor has moved quickly to bring in defenders Gavin Hoyte, Alex Davey and Ollie Harfield to shore up his back line.
And he has also brought in midfielder James Blanchfield and winger Lamar Reynolds and will be hoping his young recruits can have break-out campaigns.
The former England caretaker boss is sure to have transfer business still to conduct and is expected to have a few players on trial in this week’s matches.
He will also be looking at the players who remain from last season’s ranks, including Matt Robinson, Luke Pennell, Ben Nunn, Elliot Justham, Tyrique Hyde, Michael Cheek and Chike Kandi.
Youngsters Liam Gordon and Elliot Bonds, who broke into the first team in the final weeks of the last campaign, will also get their chances to shine this term.
Meanwhile, striker Elliott Romain will be handed a second chance at the club, after being sent out on loan to Welling United and Torquay United last season.