March 9 2014 Latest news:
Friday, January 31, 2014
Dagenham & Redbridge beat off the competition to sign Brentford striker Luke Norris on loan – and have a former Dagger to thank for help in sending him in the direction of Victoria Road.
The 20-year-old Norris sought the advice of Sam Saunders and, after some kind words from the Daggers fan favourite, his mind was made up.
“I spoke to Sam about it and he had nothing but positives to say about the club,” said Norris.
“He made it pretty clear that it’s a good club and a few others at Brentford spoke very highly of it as well and the gaffer that’s in charge here.
“I had a talk to my agent as well and he thought it would be a good move for me and when so many people say it’s a good move it’s hard to argue with them.”
Norris certainly had a dream debut on Saturday as he scored the late equaliser to give Daggers a battling point in the 3-3 home draw with Scunthorpe. Conditions were difficult to play in and referee Darren Bond was forced to take the players off for a brief interlude, with six minutes left, and the hosts 3-2 down.
His opening game looked like ending in defeat, but despite only being with the club a matter of days, he knew once they pulled one back they had the belief to complete an amazing comeback.
“I think I came on a little bit earlier than planned and with us being 3-0 down it looked like it was going to be a bad day,” he added.
“But the lads showed great belief and as soon as we scored the first goal we knew we could get something from the game and the second goal soon followed and a third after that.”
The conditions came in handy for Norris’ equaliser, as Gavin Hoyte’s through ball stuck in a puddle and the Brentford loanee was there to prod it home.
“It’s not the greatest strike I’ll ever have,” he joked.
“It was almost like a slide tackle finish, but they all count at the end of the day. The conditions were tough and something I have never experienced, but we showed the fight to pick up a big point.”
He added to that with the equaliser yet again in the 1-1 draw against Southend on Tuesday night, and Daggers continue a tough schedule with tests against Rochdale, Hartlepool and Burton Albion. Norris has already faced those sides during a previous loan spell with Northampton earlier in the season, where he got his first experience of league football.
After initially excelling at Sixfields, Norris hopes this second spell on loan will give him a further understanding of the game, adding: “I’ve played all those sides and I know what they are all about so hopefully that will stand me in good stead.
“It was a great experience at Northampton and now I want to be part of a Dagenham side which pushes on up the table and can get promoted.”