Hornets boss eyes more goals from main striker

STAYING PUT: Paris Tuwizana (right) has agreed to remain at Debenham for next season
STAYING PUT: Paris Tuwizana (right) has agreed to remain at Debenham for next season

Debenham LC manager Mark Benterman has set himself the challenge of developing Paris Tuwizana into a 20 to 25-goal a season striker.

The powerful forward netted 16 goals in 40 appearances to top the scoring charts at Friends Meadow last season.

And after Tuwizana re-signed with The Hornets for their upcoming 2017/18 campaign in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division — one of seven players from last season’s squad to have agreed to stay at the club this week — Benterman believes he can get even more goals out of the former Leiston forward.

“We wanted to keep the core of last season’s squad together,” explained the Debenham boss.

“Paris scored 16 goals last season, which at any level is a good season.

“He scored around one in three games and we feel we can work with Paris and get him to a 20 or 25-goal return mark.

“We’re very pleased to have him on board again for next season. There were a few other clubs who showed an interest in him.

“He’s strong and powerful and I’m very pleased to have him kept him, and the core of the squad, for next season.”

Ex-Halstead manager Benterman took over the hotseat at Friends Meadow in January, overseeing a turnaround in form which saw Debenham pick up 26 points from their final 13 league games and finish 12th in the First Division table.

Sustaining that level of form over the course of a whole season is likely to see Debenham challenging for a top-six finish next season, a target which Benterman feels The Hornets are capable of.

“We want to be fighting in and around the top six or seven and to do that you need to improve the squad,” he said.

“I’d like to retain 10 players from last season’s squad and bring in six or seven new players as well.”

Along with Tuwizana, last season’s Players’ Player and Supporters’ Player of the Year Steve Fenner, captain Chris Brock, Sam Diaper, Lewis Kemp, Alex Seaman and Ryan Gardiner have all re-signed for Debenham.

“Steve Fenner is arguably one of the best goalkeepers in the league,” Benterman enthused. “He was one of the first players to sign up for next season, he loves the club.

“He’s going to be my vice-captain this year and in my opinion he’s one of the best at this level.”

n Debenham LC have decided to not run a reserves side for the 2017/18 season.

The club’s second string finished fourth in League C of the Touchline Suffolk & Ipswich League last term.