Still delighted to keep Strevens

DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE manager John Still finally got his man when he signed Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Doug Loft on loan during Monday s transfer deadline day, writes MIKE SIMMONDS. Loft, 22, has been on the fringes of the first team at the Withdean

DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE manager John Still finally got his man when he signed Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Doug Loft on loan during Monday's transfer deadline day, writes MIKE SIMMONDS.

Loft, 22, has been on the fringes of the first team at the Withdean after joining from Hastings United in 2005, scoring three times in 46 appearances, but he is a player who has always been on the Still's radar.

"I tried to get him last season and it wasn't possible, but I kept on until the last minute and their manager Micky Adams kept true to his word, so I'm absolutely delighted," said Still.

"I love his energy, he's a good footballer and he can play our way. Some people might have wanted us to get tried and trusted players in, but this club hasn't been brought up on tried and tested and I can see something in players.


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"I narrowed down the list of players I was looking at, and Doug was always the one that we wanted.

"The thing that always impresses me, is when you sit down and talk to players about coming in and you like them to show a bit of enthusiasm.

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"Doug was exactly like that, I loved the way he was about the move, loved his attitude and that was right for me."

There was another piece of good news for Daggers during Monday's hectic deadline, as striker Ben Strevens rejected a move to League Two leaders Wycombe Wanderers.

The former Barnet forward, who is out of contract at the end of the season, has netted 11 times this term, forming a lethal partnership with Paul Benson, so Still was delighted by his decision.

"We spoke to Wycombe a few times, they made an offer, it wasn't an offer I thought was right, but as we do at this club, I went to 'Strevs' and said they've made an offer for you," he said.

"I said, if you feel that you should go, I'll go back and negotiate. He said he wasn't bothered by it, and if we want him to go, he'll talk to them, but if we don't, he's happy to stay.

Contract

"He hasn't signed a new contract, but he's said, in an ideal world, he would like to stay here until the end of the season, see where we end up and then look at it.

"I think Sam Saunders has been in same boat, none of them have said they wanted to leave, but at the same time, they're not highly paid players either."

One of the main reasons behind Strevens' decision to stay was the superb team spirit that Daggers have built, something Still could not speak of highly enough.

"I know the loyalty and the spirit that goes on within this group of players," he said.

"They all enjoy sticking two fingers up at people, we have massively overachieved and they love being a part of that.

"For some people, that will change, I know that, but we've not actively tried to sell anyone, not promoted anyone and have made it clear no-one was for sale."

Daggers face a lengthy trip to Bury this weekend, should the match beat the Arctic conditions battering the country, and apart from Scott Griffiths and Peter Gain, Still expects to have a full squad to choose from.

"Scott will probably train on Thursday and whether Saturday will be too soon I don't know, but Saturday week, I don't see being a problem," said the boss.

"'Gainy' will start progressing his training next week, but we're still looking at three weeks for him.

"At the moment, everyone in the top pack just swaps positions each week, but we've been in good form for a while now and I hope it continues.

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