Non-league talent getting harder to find says Daggers boss Burnett

PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 May 2013

Dagenham manager Wayne Burnett (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Dagenham manager Wayne Burnett (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

Dagenham & Redbridge manager Wayne Burnett is closing in on the completion of a new scouting network.

Dagenham & Redbridge boss Wayne Burnett believes the job of plucking players from the non-league scene is getting even harder with many more clubs going down that route.

The Daggers — and former manager John Still — have proved expert at plucking gems out of the semi-professional game in recent seasons.

And although Burnett is currently in discussions with potential scouts, he knows it’s getting increasingly rare to find the star turns in non-league.

“We are still in talks to implement some new scouts and I do have lists and plenty of contacts from my time both in the league and non-league,” said Burnett.

“It’s about finding the right people for us from those contacts I have had over the years, though many have dispersed. It’s getting very difficult to find the players in non-league. Other clubs are adopting the same process.”

During Burnett’s reign as interim boss at Victoria Road last season, the club often used the Spurs Lodge training facility in Chigwell.

But with a training schedule now in place, Burnett does not have plans to replace their May & Baker training ground.

He added: “Plans have been going well in terms of the training schedule and all the other preparation which goes with it.

“It’s not in our plans though to use Spurs Lodge next season. May & Baker is our base and that’s where we will be.”

But while other teams start to announce newcomers to their squads, it remains a waiting game for the Daggers, strictly down to their tight finances.

“There is no rush for us and we can’t dive in,” said Burnett.

“There are lots of players out of contract and we have got to make some decisions. But as I have said before we cannot get into a bidding war with the likes of Orient, Millwall and Southend because we’ll lose out.”

From within the small squad which remains at Daggers, Burnett revealed there have been no offers for their contracted players and that’s the way he would like it to stay.

“The finances are tight as everyone knows and we will work from a squad of about 22 players,” he added.

“That is tight so we will be expecting everyone there to be able to contribute. No offers have come in yet for any of our contracted players.”

Daggers have started making plans for pre-season and to date have trips to Great Yarmouth (July 10) and Luton (July 27) booked, while Charlton will visit Victoria Road on July 23.

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