Anguish for Benjamin

SOHAM boss Ian Benjamin has hit out at the club s lack of ambition as other teams target his key players. Ridgeons Premier Division top-scorer Andy Furnell was subject to a seven-day notice of approach from Diss, midfielder Michael Simpson has been courte

SOHAM boss Ian Benjamin has hit out at the club's lack of ambition as other teams target his key players.

Ridgeons Premier Division top-scorer Andy Furnell was subject to a seven-day notice of approach from Diss, midfielder Michael Simpson has been courted by Diss plus Ryman League sides AFC Sudbury and Bury, and defender Stuart Williams was a target for Dereham.

Even though all three agreed to stay, Benjamin is frustrated by his club's decision to not apply for promotion to the Ryman League this season.

He said: "When I first joined Soham I spoke to my chairman (Colin Murfitt) about his plans for the future, and we both agreed that we wanted to take the club to the highest possible level.


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"I have no idea why we didn't apply and I'll be having words with the committee next week. I've always felt I've had their full backing."

To be eligible for promotion, Soham would have to finish in the top three and, after sending in a written application, satisfy league officials that the club fulfil certain criteria with regards to facilities and finances.

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Rangers had an application for promotion turned down four years ago because their pitch did not meet the required standard.

Benjamin said: "I've been very down about it over the last few weeks and have been hiding my feelings from the players.

"We were really close to losing Michael Simpson. He's 26 and playing the best football of his career and wants to be playing at a higher level. It took a lot of persuasion to keep him at the club.

"Although we have no chance of promotion now, I've told the lads to finish as high as we possibly can and they will be better off for the experience.

"They are a great bunch at Soham and we've got the foundations to achieve something really special.

"I look at Histon and see what they've achieved. Six or seven years ago they were getting 60-odd people at their matches.

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