Former Dagenham striker Paul Benson says it is ‘worrying time’ for many National League players

PUBLISHED: 15:00 07 April 2020

Paul Benson while playing for Dagenham & Redbridge. Picture: David Simpson/TGS Photo).

Paul Benson while playing for Dagenham & Redbridge. Picture: David Simpson/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Former Dagenham & Redbridge striker Paul Benson says the ongoing crisis will be a “very worrying” time for National League players whose contracts are close to expiring.

The National League season has been suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic with a decision still yet to be announced about how the campaign will be ended.

And Benson, who won two promotions with the Daggers during his time at the club, believes a lot of players will be concerned about their futures.

“It will be a worrying time for a lot of players at that level and any Dagenham players that are due to come up to the end of their contract now,” he said.

“It must be a worrying time for certain players being out of contract with the situation as it is at the moment with not knowing if they’ll get another contract or if they do what terms it will be on.

“I’m assuming that a lot of clubs will be cutting their cloth accordingly and the contracts that have been handed out in the past won’t be available for next year.

“Personally I think the last ball has been kicked this season in terms of the National League. I don’t think they will play any more games.

“I don’t think teams will go up and I don’t think teams will go down, that’s my personal opinion, and I think that clarification will help clubs to start planning for next year.

“Points per game might be the fairest way but then there’s an argument that if you’re down the bottom and you’ve just picked up a bit of form, what’s to say you weren’t going to get enough points to get out of it?”

Last week, the Premier League said it would advance funds of £125 million to the English Football League and National League to assist clubs.

The Daggers sat 18th at the time the season was suspended, two points clear of the bottom four, but Benson believes his old side have the squad to compete at the right end of the division next season.

He added: “Funnily enough one of the games I went to was the 6-1 win against Aldershot so I’ve probably got a different view of how they’ve done compared to someone who has been to every game.

“They were fantastic that day but unfortunately those games have been few and far between for them this year.

They’ve got some really good players in there so I think if we can keep the majority of them for next year there’s no reason why they can’t start looking towards the top end of the table for next season, fingers crossed we do get a start for it.”

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