Still delighted as Benson stays
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE manager John Still was delighted that much sought-after striker Paul Benson has agreed to stay with the club after he signed a new three-year deal yesterday (Tuesday), writes MIKE SIMMONDS. With less than two weeks to go before the ne
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE manager John Still was delighted that much sought-after striker Paul Benson has agreed to stay with the club after he signed a new three-year deal, writes MIKE SIMMONDS.
With less than two weeks to go before the new season kicks off, had Benson gone, it would have left a massive hole in the manager's striking options, especially after Ben Strevens joined Brentford last month.
But the forward will now be lining up for Daggers at Crewe Alexandra on the opening Saturday on August 8, and Still was thrilled to hold on to his prized asset.
"It's good that Paul wants to stay. Sometimes people love playing somewhere, and I think he loves playing for Dagenham," enthused the manager, who picked up Benson for nothing from Saturday park side White Ensign in July 2005.
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"It was a fantastic offer for the club, but we have worked hard to make sure our finances are in check, and we don't have to accept everything that comes through the door.
"I knew from day one that he didn't want to leave, unless the offer had come from a club that he just couldn't have turned down, and then you have to respect his decision.
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"I think we have a very strong relationship and if in football you have players who want to play for you, then that is what you strive for.
"Even the players who have left haven't really wanted to go, but they couldn't turn down the opportunity of testing themselves at a higher level, and I accept that."
Benson is now under contract at Victoria Road until 2012, and if he and the other players are to be believed, there is no reason they won't be playing League One football by that time too.
"I think he has been impressed by the players we have brought in here," said Still.
"The likes of Danny Green and Josh Scott have done very well and he can see that there is no reason we can't challenge again, as we did last season."
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