Dagenham & Redbridge boss McMahon pleased by progress in Portugal

Dagenham & Redbridge manager Daryl McMahon gives instructions at Victoria Road

Dagenham & Redbridge manager Daryl McMahon gives instructions at Victoria Road - Credit: TGS Photo

Dagenham & Redbridge boss Daryl McMahon hailed their warm-weather training camp in Portugal, as they prepare for the 2022-23 National League season. 

Daggers flew out for a week after beating Aveley in their opening pre-season friendly, with a debut goal from Omar Mussa, and are set to host Leyton Orient at Victoria Road on Saturday, after a midweek trip to Bishop's Stortford.

And McMahon felt the trip was very worthwhile, telling the club website: "The players trained really hard, in hot conditions. I know it's hot back home as well but it's extremely hot here still.

"The facility we're at is excellent, the pitch is excellent, the gym we've got is excellent. They're enjoying it, getting to know each other. They've stuck together well."

Daggers had signed David Longe-King from Grimsby Town for an undisclosed fee ahead of their game at Aveley, where Mussa netted on 38 minutes.

And McMahon added: "We’re absolutely delighted to sign David and have him on board ahead of the upcoming season.

"He’s someone we’ve looked at for a long time, from back when he was at St Albans. He’s a big imposing centre-back who stands at six foot four, he’s aerially good, and obviously physically impressive, but can also play with the ball at his feet.

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"David was really hungry to come back down to London to join us, and we feel like he’ll be a really big asset for us moving forward into this new campaign."

The time spent in Portugal was important not only for the work done by the players on the pitch, but also team bonding away from training sessions.

And McMahon was also pleased to be able to include 24-year-old George Saunders as he continues to recover from the broken leg suffered in their FA Trophy win over Spennymoor Town.

He said: "It's great to have George here. We took him with us, because we felt the facilities here would really help him and hopefully speed up his recovery. 

"There's a fantastic gym here that George will be able to use, working closely with (sports therapist) Bryony (Woolley), so it's been excellent.

"They've integrated really well, that's the great thing about going away straight away is that you get to know each other.

"Although you spend a lot of time together during the season, you're in for that two or three-hour period at a training session, here you're together for seven days, 24 hours a day. 

"You live together, you eat together, breakfast, lunch and dinner. They socialise in terms of playing cards or table tennis and they're getting on really well so it's been really good."