Magnus: My move was a no-brainer

DEPARTING Dagenham & Redbridge central defender Magnus Okuonghae admitted that his decision to move to Colchester United was a no-brainer. The long-running transfer was finally confirmed on Tuesday morning, although a tribunal is expected to confirm the

DEPARTING Dagenham & Redbridge central defender Magnus Okuonghae admitted that his decision to move to Colchester United was a "no-brainer," writes MIKE SIMMONDS.

The long-running transfer was finally confirmed on Tuesday morning, although a tribunal is expected to confirm the fee that Daggers will receive for the 23-year-old.

Okuonghae, who made 62 appearances for the club, was delighted to have his future finally resolved.

"I'm very happy to get it all sorted out now as it's been ongoing for a while and it's been quite an unsettling summer," he told the Recorder.


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"There are a few things Colchester are having to work out now, like the fee they have to pay, but they have reassured me they are going to go through with it, so I can just get my head down and work hard.

"It's a bit of a no-brainer for me, as Colchester's first game of the season is at Norwich, and we'll be playing the likes of Leeds and Charlton.

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"Having looked at the league, it's a very good league to be involved in, and it was a decision I couldn't turn down."

Okuonghae became the fourth first-teamer to walk away in the close season, with Ben Strevens, Sam Saunders and Danny Foster all joining Brentford recently.

Despite his departure, Daggers boss John Still isn't going to be rushing out to sign a new centre half.

"I might look at bringing someone in, but we have got Scott Doe, who we have been really impressed with in his time here," he said.

"Anwar Uddin is also keen to regain his place in the side.

"He was a regular for four years up until Christmas and then picked up an injury to keep him out."

Still was also hopeful that the club would be well compensated for Okuonghae's move.

"There are still a few things to be worked out, and the clubs may agree to a fee, but if not, then it will go to a tribunal," he said.

"Could we have offered him a deal before the transfer window? Possibly, but as with the others who have gone, we wanted to see where we would end up.

"We're in a position where we can't offer players long deals financially and sometimes they do run down, so there isn't much we can do about that.

"We've lost plenty of players since I've been here though and we've always gone forward."

Okuonghae's absence will be a blow for Daggers though, as the imposing central defender was in inspired form last season, playing all but one of their league matches as they almost made it into the play-offs.

His no-nonsense displays at the back caught the eyes of supporters too, as he was named player of the year, and he thanked the club for giving him his chance.

"I was very happy with my form last season, it was very productive for me," said the former Crawley Town man.

"Sometimes I felt like I was playing really well and I was really happy with my game.

"But for my first full season, I only missed one match and that was due to suspension, so it was nice to receive the accolades for doing so well."

Okuonghae is now looking forward to getting stuck into pre-season training with his new club, though he believes Daggers fans can still look forward to a good season.

"I thrive on competition and I wanted the chance to prove myself at a higher level and see where it goes from there," he said.

"I spoke to Colchester's manager (Paul Lambert) and he wants promotion next season, which is good to hear.

"I don't think my leaving Daggers will be too much trouble for them, as like I said before, John Still has always gone out and found players.

"All four of us going might be a bit hard, but he is so good at getting players, that I think it will be onwards and upwards for them."

Are you disappointed Magnus has left? 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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