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Daggers ‘cannot sign new players’ as contracts end

PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 June 2020

Matt Robinson of Dagenham and Redbridge and Kyle Wootton of Notts County during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Notts County, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 25th January 2020

Matt Robinson of Dagenham and Redbridge and Kyle Wootton of Notts County during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Notts County, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 25th January 2020

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Dagenham & Redbridge managing director Steve Thompson insists it ‘would be irresponsible’ of him to go out and sign new players ahead of the upcoming season.

Manny Onariase of Dagenham during Dagenham & Redbridge vs West Ham United U23, Friendly Match Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 26th July 2019Manny Onariase of Dagenham during Dagenham & Redbridge vs West Ham United U23, Friendly Match Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 26th July 2019

A huge number of players across the country are due to have their contracts expire in the next week and that includes a fair few of Daggers squad from last season.

The likes of defenders Gabriel Zakuani, Will Wright, Will Wood, Manny Onariase, Luke Croll, Andrew Eleftheriou, Alex McQueen and midfielders Harold Odametey, Matt Robinson, Harry Phipps, Bagasan Graham and Joan Luque will all have their contracts expire on June 30.

Liam Gordon is believed to have a clause in his contract to extend his deal for a further year, while the likes of Elliot Justham, Myles Weston, Kenny Clark, Mitch Brundle, Angelo Balanta, Sam Deering, James Dobson, Joe Quigley, Reece Grant, Chike Kandi all have contracts beyond that date.

The future of young goalkeeper Josh Strizovic is unclear as he was sent out on loan towards the end of the season.

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And Thompson said: “As soon as the government announces a relaxation on the testing required for elite football – it’s not the FA that can determine that or the club, just the government – then we will start training again and begin to recruit some new players because at the moment we’ve only definitely got 13 contracted players for next season.

“That isn’t enough, so we would have to do that, but it would be irresponsible of me to sign any players without knowing that football is going to start.”

The Daggers chief says like most clubs they can’t plan too far ahead without knowing a start date for the 2020-21 National League season.

“Same as every club, you can’t plan ahead. There are players out of contract, who we might offer a new contract to or we might not,” he added.

“Our only income at the moment is the furlough money, we’ve got no other income, and we’ve been completely closed since March 16.

“We’re losing money every month just doing nothing and it’s a substantial amount of money that we’re losing, so it is a difficult time.

“There is no way I can allow us to sign anybody until we know we’ve got a definite date for starting football again.”


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