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Cousins ready for Daggers challenge

13:45 27 June 2014

Daggers new goalkeeper Mark Cousins in action for Colchester United. Pic: John Walton/ EMPICS Sport

Daggers new goalkeeper Mark Cousins in action for Colchester United. Pic: John Walton/ EMPICS Sport

EMPICS Sport

New Daggers goalkeeper Mark Cousins is hoping the club can go at least one step further and make the League Two play-offs next season.

Cousins signed a two-year deal with the club on Monday after being released by Colchester and will now fight it out with fellow new goalkeeper Liam O’Brien for the number one jersey.

“Both Liam and I will be pushing for that first team spot and in a way it helps with us both being new to the club,” said Cousins.

“Sometimes when you are joining and there’s already a keeper there the manager tends to favour that one, but we both have the chance to stake a claim for the regular spot.

“It’ll be tough because Liam will be hoping for the same and he is champing at the bit as well.

The 27-year-old only played 70 games while with Colchester, and Cousins admitted the last season in particular was a frustrating time for him.

But the Academy graduate at the U’s admits the time was right for a fresh challenge.

“Being a goalkeeper is a tough position, you know you are fighting for just one spot and you have to accept at times you won’t be playing week in, week out from a young age.

“But last season was the most difficult of my career and not getting the game time but now it’s a fresh start and hopefully I can do well with the Daggers.”

Daggers defied the odds to finish ninth last season, only seeing their play-off hopes dashed over the final month of the season.

But Cousins sees no reason whey they cannot push on, adding: “It must have been disappointing to just miss out on the play-offs but the gaffer sold the club to me and though last season was a great one, hopefully this time round we can get in the play-offs, if not even higher.”

Cousins does have a familiar face at the Daggers, having spent time with Medy Elito as the former England youth international was moving up the ranks at the U’s, and he is looking forward to linking up with him again.

“Medy was just coming through when I was at Colchester,” he added. “He’s a very talented player and it’ll be nice to play alongside him.”

They’ll be a quick reunion for Cousins with his old side when the Daggers host the League One outfit in a pre-season friendly on July 26.

“I didn’t realise that when I first signed, but it’s something to look forward to and it’ll be nice to meet up with all the players and fans again,” he said.

“But at the end of the day it’s just another pre-season friendly in preparation for the new season, hopefully it will go well though.”

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