Dagenham & Redbridge look to build on positive start

Dagenham & Redbridge boss Ben Strevens wants to build on a positive first week of pre-season as they continue to prepare for the 2023-24 National League campaign.

Goals from new signing Ryan Hill, Josh Hare and a trialist secured a 3-0 win at National League South new boys Aveley on Saturday, with a trip to Barking’s Lawtech Stadium to face Essex Senior League side Romford on Wednesday.

Daggers will then head to Hornchurch on Saturday, before a behind-closed-doors friendly at Wycombe on Tuesday July 18 and a run of three home games against West Ham United, Leyton Orient and Gillingham.

RECAP: https://www.barkinganddagenhampost.co.uk/sport/23644579.dagenham-redbridge-boss-ben-strevens-glad-start/

“It’s been a positive first week but we spoke a lot about foundations,” Strevens told the club website.

“It’s just the first part of it that’s got to lead into the second week. We’ve got to have a really good second week now as well. 

“Maybe the running type of it comes down a bit because we’ve got two games in the space of three or four days, but they’ve still got to work hard to be ready for the Wednesday night game and lead into next Saturday.”

Strevens fielded two different XIs at Aveley to allow as many players as possible to get minutes into their legs.

And he was pleased by the performances of new signings Hill, Josh Rees, Frank Vincent and Tom Eastman.

“Really pleasing what they’ve brought throughout the week,” he added.

“Hilly took his goal really well. It’s what I working with him before I left him and now bringing him back, trying to get those goals and assists and final-third bits into his play.

“Really pleased for him, played him in a little bit different position but the way he squared him up and finished with his left foot was really good.

“There was other good moments in that first half for him and other players in that area of the pitch as well.

“Vinny’s energy and the way he has come into the group and all the running we’ve been doing, I don’t care what running it is, he’s been right up the front of all of it, he’s been pulling people along with him.

“Reesy I’ve known about because I’ve seen him at this level a long time, I know what he brings into that midfield area, arrived in the box with a header which I think a week’s time, when we’ve done more work him he 100 per cent scores.

“He’s going to add that to his game but his all-round picking up second balls, recycling the midfield area, which sometimes goes unnoticed but being there in the right position, was really good.

“Easty just come in and he is what hopefully we’ve been looking out for. A leader back there, dominant in the air, played a lovely couple of balls as well, I remember one channel ball he played was really, really good.”

Strevens was keen to also keen to praise those players who remain from the 2022-23 campaign, when Daggers eventually finished in 10th place after the sudden departure of Daryl McMahon in late February.

“Pleasing for them boys, because they’re new ones, but I have to say the ones that have been here and the younger ones have been excellent all week,” he said.

“I’m glad they showed that. They deserved that for how hard they worked all week.”

Tickets for home friendlies against West Ham United (July 22), Leyton Orient (July 25) and Gillingham (July 29) are on sale at the club website.

Go to https://daggers.ktckts.com/brand/match-tickets.


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