Pennell expresses delight at leadership qualities of new-look Daggers squad
PUBLISHED: 15:00 20 July 2018
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Defender captain Daggers in pre-season friendly against Colchester United on Tuesday
Dagenham & Redbridge defender Luke Pennell is seemingly impressed with the leadership qualities demonstrated so far by Peter Taylor’s new-look squad.
Pennell captained Daggers in their friendly against Colchester United on Tuesday night while Matt Robinson led the side against a West Ham United XI last Friday.
The pair are among a small cluster of players to have remained at Victoria Road over the summer and look set to be leading candidates to wear the armband this term following the departure of previous skipper Andre Boucaud.
When asked whether Taylor had spoken to him about the captaincy, Pennell said the new boss had not, but added he was pleased with the communication skills demonstrated by the team so far.
“We’re trying to be vocal out there because it’s a very young team,” said the defender.
“I’m only 22 and there are a lot of players around my age, but we have plenty of players who are either new or young.
“We’re just trying to help each other through games by being loud and everyone is trying to be a leader.”
Pennell moved to Daggers from Dunstable Town in 2016 after being signed by former boss John Still, who departed in the summer.
It means the 22-year-old has had to adapt to working under a new man at the helm for the first time in his stint with the Essex club.
But Pennell admits he is pleased with how the experience of working under Taylor has gone so far.
“It’s different training with the new management team. Peter is a different manager compared to John, but I’m enjoying working with him,” he added.
“(Assistant manager) Terry (Harris) has been here before, so the players that are still here know all about him, but it’s been good training with them.”
With Still and a number of first-team players departing in the summer given the club’s financial predicament, Pennell would have been forgiven for thinking about his own future with the club.
But the defender insists he carried out his duties in the off-season as if it was business as usual.
“We didn’t know too much about what was going on behind the scenes, so as players we just prepared ourselves to come back in as normal for pre-season training,” he said.
“We knew in ourselves what we had to do to come back in.
“When we did come back in, we thought it would be difficult as we didn’t have enough players at the time, but everything was set up properly when we came in and we had new players coming in. Since then, it’s been just like normal.”