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Dagenham still rebuilding but Collins pleased so far

PUBLISHED: 13:00 17 September 2015

Dagenham go on the attack at Millwall (pic: Tim Edwards)

Dagenham go on the attack at Millwall (pic: Tim Edwards)

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The new Essex One campaign starts this weekend and the D’s are on the road

Dagenham begin their Essex One campaign with a tough first trip to Maldon and head coach Mark Collins is expecting a difficult encounter, but he is satisfied with the progress the club has made.

The D’s finished the 2014/15 season in seventh, ending with a 10-match losing streak after the departure of various key personnel.

But Collins is doing his best to rebuild and the Central Park outfit put in a spirited display against Millwall last week in the Junior Vase.

They lost 24-12, despite two tries from Dave Kitenge, but took plenty of heart from the display and are hoping to put in another good performance on Saturday at Maldon.

Collins said: “We are still on the rebuilding job, but we are in a much better position now than we were six months ago.

“My job is to rebuild the whole club. It is from the bottom and upwards and we have a few things in the pipeline with some schools.

“We go to Maldon now and they will be one of the favourites for the title this year. We have to look at what is available with our injuries and everything else. It will be a tough weekend for us.”

Although a victory against Maldon on Saturday may be a little bit too much to ask, the D’s do want to finish inside the top half this season.

Collins believes his players are much fitter this year, but has seen various get injured during pre-season and that means he takes somewhat of a depleted squad to Maldon.

He added: “We have set a realistic target. We are not saying we will win the league, but if we can get in the top half it will be happy days.

“The boys are a lot fitter this season, they have worked very hard during the summer. We saw plenty of encouragement against Millwall last weekend.

“But I am already down three players. I lost a couple the week before that too so obviously that is not the best of starts, especially because of our small squad.”


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