Dagenham & Redbridge boss wants better West Ham relationship

Ben Strevens would like to see Dagenham & Redbridge build a stronger relationship with Premier League neighbours West Ham United, following their pre-season friendly encounter at the weekend.

Strikers Inih Effiong and Sydney Ibie were on target for National League Daggers in a 2-2 draw against the Europe Conference League winners, cancelling out goals by Maxwel Cornet and Divin Mubama at a sold-out Victoria Road.

And boss Strevens hopes a few new faces might return to the terraces to watch his side during the 2023-24 campaign.

“I appreciate lots will be West Ham fans and follow them all over the country, but I want them to know that if they come to Dagenham & Redbridge they will see a proper football club, players trying their hardest,” Strevens told the club website.

“We know it’s not the Premier League standard but I still think you can see some really good football matches at our level.

“I want a better relationship between the two clubs now, we have the ladies playing here, the surface was brilliant today, we had people from West Ham helping us working on that.

“And I feel like it’s a real good environment, pre-season aside, for some of their younger players learning their trade as well and we can maybe help them with things like that.

“It’s the first part of it, trying to grow it together, and more importantly it’s to thank their manager and all the staff for bringing the team here to play against us.”

Strevens included four of his five summer signings in his starting line-up, including latest arrival Jake Hessenthaler, with Ryan Hill not included.

And after taking a look at more trialists on the day, he was pleased with various aspects of the match.

“People might have looked at it before the game to say how many attacking players have we got on, but we had an idea of what we wanted to do against them, and having a little game plan,” he added.

“I really thought the energy from midfield with Frank [Vincent] and Reesy [Josh Rees] joining in with Inih caused them some problems and then you had Hess and Lingy [Sam Ling] backing them up behind.

“It wasn’t something we were planning on doing, we looked at the way we thought they were playing and I thought it really suited us first half.  

“There was some real strong individual performances but I think the collective is the main thing.

“I was critical of both their goals because I thought we could’ve stopped them from our point of view. Obviously they punish you and they will probably say the same for our goals against them.

“But I’m delighted for the club, it was a great day and hopefully we can build a relationship with them that they want to come back and play us more and build a relationship between the two clubs.”

After a midweek visit from League One outfit Leyton Orient, Daggers are due to host League Two side Gillingham on Saturday (July 29, 3pm) and visit Northwood for their final pre-season friendly on Tuesday (August 1, 7.45pm).


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