‘Plenty left to play for,’ says new Debenham manager

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New Debenham LC manager Mark Benterman has no intention of letting this season fizzle out.

With The Hornets sitting 18th in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division standings, there may have been a temptation to focus on summer recruitment and plan ahead for an improved 2017/18 campaign.

But while the ex-Halstead Town chief, who has replaced Ben Murphy in the hotseat, does have a keen eye on the future, he has still set targets for the remainder of this season.

“There are 54 points left to play for, so we will not be sitting back and letting those pass us by,” he said.

“We will try to get as many points as possible.

“The club got 41 points last season, so the challenge is to beat that (Debenham currently have 22).

“There is also an outside chance of us qualifying for next season’s FA Cup if we can get in and around that figure, so there is plenty to play for.

“Of course, we are planning for next season, but the here and now is also important.”

In Debenham, Benterman feels he has accepted a challenge not too dissimilar to the one he inherited when taking charge of Halstead four years ago.

His time at Rosemary Lane ended earlier this month, but during that spell he oversaw the club’s record run in the FA Cup, as well as a sequence of results in which The Humbugs lost just seven league games in 2016.

And Benterman is confident he can replicate that sort of success during his stint at Friends Meadow.

“This is a really good opportunity for me with a chairman who is very ambitious,” he added.

“It is exciting, just like when I took over at Halstead.

“They were 12th or 13th and we ended up going on a fantastic journey.

“For whatever reason Debenham has not had too much success in recent seasons, but I am hoping we can turn that around.”

Benterman will be assisted by ex-Haverhill Rovers number two Josh Shepherd, while a goalkeeping coach and physio have also joined.

Meanwhile, Debenham chairman Steve Sherwood commented: “We are sorry to ask Ben Murphy to step aside from the role and thank him sincerely for his hard work.

“The opportunity to bring Mark to the club was a chance in a lifetime, and we have acted quickly and decisively to obtain his services.”

n Benterman makes first signings - see page 52