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Justham honoured to be player of the season award after fine term

PUBLISHED: 16:00 02 May 2019

Elliot Justham (left), Liam Gordon and Conor Wilkinson (right) of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: Ned Keating)

Elliot Justham (left), Liam Gordon and Conor Wilkinson (right) of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: Ned Keating)

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Stopper beat Conor Wilkinson and Liam Gordon to win the top prize

Elliot Justham revealed he was pleased to be named Dagenham & Redbridge's player of the season — but was happier to help the club to avoid relegation from the Vanarama National League.

Justham was awarded the prize following Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to Solihull Moors, with Conor Wilkinson placing second and Liam Gordon third.

The 28-year-old was honoured for a fine season in which he was named the division's player of the month for November.

The former Luton Town man regularly produced heroics between the sticks, which helped the Essex club collect some valuable points as they fought to avoid relegation.

And though naturally thrilled to take the personal honour, it seems Justham took more pleasure in helping the Victoria Road side stay up in a tumultuous campaign.

“It's pleasing to get the award. I started slow, but I grew into it and I thought from October onwards, I really kicked on,” he said.

“It's nice to get the personal award, but the main objective when I met the gaffer (Peter Taylor) in June was to stay up and we've done that, so it's job done.”

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As Justham admits himself, his game has come on leaps and bounds since October with the stopper enjoying possibly his best run of form for Daggers.

That run coincided with the appointment of Glen Johnson as goalkeeping coach, taking over in the role after Jim Stannard left to join divisional rivals Bromley.

The 28-year-old, though, still reserved praise for Stannard, though acknowledged the work Johnson had done in helping him improve.

“Jim helped me a lot early in the season because he was only meant to come in three days a week, but came in five days a week to help me,” added Justham.

“Full credit to the man for doing that because he didn't have to do it, but he helped me.

“The start to the season was slow for me because of the injury I had the previous season.

“I can blame it on myself, but Glen has brought some new ideas and I've taken to him really well. I enjoy working with Glen and I'm thankful to him for that.”

As for his future, Justham is out of contract in the summer and the keeper was coy about remaining with Daggers.

“Talks have been had and it's all positive at the moment,” he said.

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