Daggers chairman: We can cope with players leaving

DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE chairman Dave Andrews insists there should be no cause for concern amongst supporters, despite seeing their promotion-chasing side in the process of being dismantled. Ben Strevens, Sam Saunders and Danny Foster are all expected to lea

DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE chairman Dave Andrews insists there should be no cause for concern amongst supporters, despite seeing their promotion-chasing side in the process of being dismantled, writes MIKE SIMMONDS.

Ben Strevens, Sam Saunders and Danny Foster are all expected to leave the club in the coming weeks, while Magnus Okuonghae has also yet to put pen to paper on a new deal.

With Matt Ritchie back at Portsmouth, Daggers could be without five players that took them to within one place of the League Two play-offs last season, but Andrews isn't fazed by the predicament.

"I'm not too worried about the situation, because John (Still) has found good players in the past, so he can do it again," said the chairman, who wasn't downhearted about missing out on potential transfer fees.

"I don't blame any of the other players for wanting to leave as I've heard some have been offered �1,800 a week and a �15,000 signing-on bonus.

"They could have their wages doubled, and what would you do if that happened?

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"We spoke to them all at Christmas and they all stated they wanted to stay with us to see what happened.

"If we had gone up, then it might have been a different story, but we know we're Dagenham and we get crowds of 2,000, so we can't really compete with other teams."

Although Daggers can't command fees for Saunders, Strevens or Foster, they will be renumerated if Okuonghae moves on, as the defender is still under 24, but his departure isn't set in stone.

"Magnus hasn't signed a contract with us yet, but he hasn't gone anywhere either and there have been no offers," said Andrews, who is in Portugal, where he is representing Daggers at the Football League AGM.

"We will get compensation for him if he does go, but it hasn't happened yet."

Daggers boss John Still has been working hard to bring players in during the close season, with Danny Green and Stuart Thurgood already on board, while Mark Arber, Peter Gain and Tony Roberts have extended their deals.

"I have every confidence in the players John is going to bring in, and he has already been raving about the boy from Bishop's Storford (Green)," said Andrews.

"I think Graeme Montgomery will do very well this year too, while Thurgood is an excellent player to have brought in.

"With Tony, Mark and Peter all signing longer contracts too, then who knows, we might even finish higher this season and make the play-offs!"

Do you think Daggers can cope without their best players? Email: sport@ilfordrecorder.co.uk

The Recorder is now on Twitter, so if you follow twitter.com/Recorder_DagRed then you will get up to the minute updates on goings on at Victoria Road.

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