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I wanted to finish my career at Dagenham & Redbridge, but I respect John Still’s decision, admits Paul Benson

PUBLISHED: 17:00 11 September 2017

Paul Benson of Dagenham applauds the home fans at Victoria Road (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo).

Paul Benson of Dagenham applauds the home fans at Victoria Road (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Victoria Road legend discusses life at Boreham Wood, getting into coaching and what he envisaged after signing for Daggers again in summer of 2016

Paul Benson heads in for Dagenham & Redbridge at Wrexham last season - a goal which turned out to be his last for the club (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo). Paul Benson heads in for Dagenham & Redbridge at Wrexham last season - a goal which turned out to be his last for the club (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo).

Paul Benson is enjoying life at Boreham Wood, but admits it was disappointing to leave Dagenham & Redbridge during the summer after failing to be offered a new deal at Victoria Road.

The experienced forward made his name under the management of John Still after being plucked from Essex Olympian League outfit White Ensign in 2005.

After a fantastic career that has seen him turn out for the likes of Charlton Athletic, Swindon Town as well as Luton Town, Benson returned to Dagenham last summer.

He ended up making 36 appearances and scored five times as Still’s men made the National League play-offs, but lost out in the semi-finals to Forest Green Rovers.

Benson revealed he was hoping to remain at Victoria Road after Daggers campaign came to an end, but wasn’t offered a new deal and joined division rivals Wood in June.

He said: “I was massively disappointed to leave. My idea was to finish my career at the club, yet it doesn’t always happen how you want it to, but I have nothing against the manager.

“John made his decision and I respect it, like I respect him as a person, but it would have been nice to stay there.

“I did want to finish my career with Dagenham, but good luck to them and I hope they do well this season.”

Paul Benson celebrates scoring for Dagenham & Redbridge at Wrexham last season (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo). Paul Benson celebrates scoring for Dagenham & Redbridge at Wrexham last season (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo).

After leaving Victoria Road, Benson quickly agreed a one-year deal with Boreham Wood with the option of a second.

The ex-Daggers hitman has already showed his class for the Hertfordshire club by scoring an excellent overhead kick during a 4-1 win over Solihull Moors on August 12.

It is Benson’s only goal for Luke Garrard’s Wood, but he has made just four starts due to the strong form of Bruno Andrade.

“Obviously I would have liked to get a bit more game time than what I have had, but it is a good club and it has been good so far,” said the experienced forward.

“We have started well and we got a good result against Leyton Orient and beat Aldershot Town when they were top, so we have put in some great performances.

“There have also been a couple of not-so good ones, but on a whole it has been a good start and I am really enjoying it.”

In additional to playing for Boreham Wood, Benson is also coaching while with the National League club.

After getting a taste of it at Dagenham last season, the striker is enjoying getting into the other side of the game.

Benson added: “I take the under-18s one day a week and the forwards in the first-team, so that is good.

“I did a little bit at Dagenham last season, so I got a taste of it there and Boreham Wood have asked me to do it as well.

“I also coach at Luton’s academy, so it keeps me busy and is something I want to get into when I finally finish playing.”

For more from Benson on Daggers chances of promotion this season, Oliver Hawkins and Joe White see our websites later this week.

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