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Ebbsfleet United boss Daryl McMahon on his new signing Corey Whitely

Daryl McMahon feels new signing Corey Whitely is a player who can take Ebbsfleet to the next level.

Whitely has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract at Fleet after joining the club for an undisclosed fee from Dagenham & Redbridge.

The 26-year-old forward could have moved to the Football League in January but Daggers' financial troubles have now allowed McMahon to bring in a genuine star of the non-league game.

Corey Whitely opened the scoring at Brisbane Road Picture: Andy Payton
Corey Whitely opened the scoring at Brisbane Road Picture: Andy Payton

McMahon said: "He’s one of the best players in the division. He can see what we’re building, he knows a lot of the players we’ve got, he knows how we want to play and he moves us forward as a team and a club.

"He’s a real big signing for us, not just now, but going forward as a football club.

"He's a threat, a ball carrier and he's got pace and ability.

"What I like about him is that he's effective. He gets crosses in and he gets shots away.

"We've had a few that can do some tricks but can't score a goal or cross it properly - and he can do it. He makes things happen in the final third."

Another of Fleet's targets, striker Michael Cheek, has decided to stay at Dagenham but McMahon's transfer business is not, he hopes, finished yet.

"We're still actively looking," he said. "It is difficult and we will get the right ones in.

"We're not going to be pushed into getting the wrong ones in.

"We're not desperate, we've won three on the bounce and the player that comes in has got to affect my XI.

"There's no point me bringing players in to sit on the bench or in the stand and we'll see what happens in the next few weeks."

Ebbsfleet now have 52 points, a tally which virtually guarantees safety in their first season back at this level.

Now they face back-to-back clashes with Hartlepool, Wrexham and Leyton Orient - big games they can attack with total freedom.

McMahon said: "It’s brilliant for everyone because we can go on the front foot.

"I think we’re safe from relegation now so we can just go and enjoy the games. Wherever we finish up, we finish up.

"The lads are determined and I can assure you we’ll be like that for the next 11 games.

"I watched Hartlepool's game against Woking and they really went for Woking in the first half.

"They made it difficult, got balls forward, the crowd were up for it and it'll be no different on Saturday when we come to town."

Full-back Lawrie Wilson could miss the Hartlepool trip with a tight hamstring.

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