Benson: Why I chose to stay with Daggers

DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE striker Paul Benson laid to rest any rumours of leaving Victoria Road by signing a new three-year contract with the club. Daggers confirmed they received a six-figure offer for the forward from an un-named club, which was later reveal

DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE striker Paul Benson spoke exclusively to the Dagenham Post after signing a new three-year contract with the club, writes MIKE SIMMONDS.

Benson rejected the chance to move to League Two rivals Shrewsbury, despite the Shrews making a six-figure bid for Daggers leading scorer last season, and instead signed a new deal at Victoria Road.

"I am flattered by the interest that has been shown in me, but I never once wanted to leave Dagenham & Redbridge and am happy to sign a new contract," said the forward, who has netted 62 goals in 146 appearances for the club

"You don't get a lot of loyalty in football these days, but I wanted to repay the club and also the manager too.

"It's not just for what he has done for my career, but also last season when my partner and I had a baby, he was so supportive. Little things like that mean a lot to me, and I always wanted to stay.

"People will say that it shows I have no ambition, but I have a massive amount of ambition for the Daggers. We had such a great season last year and I firmly believe we have another promotion in us, definitely. I wouldn't have signed if I didn't believe that this club could go up again, and I want to be at the front of that."

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The rumours linking Benson with other clubs this summer have been endless, with League One side Gillingham seeing a bid turned down a few weeks ago. Despite the persistent interest, the striker doesn't feel it has affected his preparation for the new campaign though.

"Stories like the ones with Gillingham didn't really bother me that much," he admitted to the Post. "I sort of expected them to come because I was in the last year of my contract and I had seen what had happened with the likes of 'Strevs' and Sam Saunders.

"I was in constant touch with the gaffer and although it has been a bit hectic as I went away to think about things, it didn't really unsettle me."


Neither regular strike-partner Ben Strevens or winger Saunders will be lining up alongside Benson this season, having both moved to Brentford, but although Daggers have seen a large chunk of their first team move to pastures new, there is confidence among the squad that they can push for promotion again.

"I know we have lost four or five quality players from the club, but the new breed of players who have come in are adapting well," added Benson.

"They might not be the same level that the players who left are, but they have the potential to go on and become even better. I've been very impressed with the likes of Danny Green and we still have Tony Roberts, Mark Arber and Peter Gain, so I have no doubt we have a good chance this year."

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