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SIL new-boys Benhall St Mary hope former Ipswich Town man can fill Kelsey Trotter’s boots

Tom Winter (right) has signed for Benhall St Mary.

Tom Winter (right) has signed for Benhall St Mary.

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SIL Senior Division new-boys Benhall St Mary have signed former Ipswich Town youngster Tom Winter to try and plug the gap left by last season’s top scorer, Kelsey Trotter.

Trotter scored over 40 goals last season as the Badgers won the Division One title and shocked Achilles to lift the Suffolk Senior Cup, but has now signed for Woodbridge Town in Thurlow Nunn Division One.

“Tom is hopefully going to be a straight swap,” said manager Carl Wilkins, of the former Felixstowe & Walton and Leiston man.

“Whether or not he can score 50 goals in a season, I don’t know, but we have lost one striker and gained another.

“Had we been in Division One I don’t think we would have got him, but has said he would like to have a season with us in the Senior Division.

“He has quite a few mates in the team and he won’t be under pressure to perform like at some teams, although I expect him to, and we have got make sure we have the players around him to create the chances.”

Benhall begin their campaign with a tough-looking trip to Bramford United on Saturday.

“They (Bramford) are a very strong side, well-drilled, and we are going to have our backs to the wall for a lot of the game, I would imagine,” Wilkins added.

“They are obviously a top-four or five team so they won’t be any mugs, and pre-season has been a bit up-and-down for us – we have been without players at times.”

While Benhall are wary of Bramford’s threat, the Badgers also have plenty of ammunition in their side too.

“I think we can hold our own,” Wilkins said.

“Talk of us being in the top-six is a bit premature but I’d be happy with a finish of halfway or above.

“(Champions) Henley will be up there, while one or two other teams have strengthened.

“You never know what can happen. We proved against Achilles that we are capable, but it’s about doing it consistently.”

He added: “Had we just got promoted last season, we might have been a bit of an unknown quantity.

“Having won the Senior Cup and won the league, teams might be a bit more cautious, although some might go gung-ho.

“It will go one way or the other.”

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