FOREST Green boss David Hockaday insists the signing of central defender Dale Bennett from Gianfranco Zola's Watford will provide healthy rivalry from within his promotion chasing squad.

The former Championship defender will train with his new team-mates at the Cirencester Arena in the morning and travel to Lincoln tomorrow afternoon.

The Enfield-born 23-year-old will come straight into the squad to negate the loss of Aarran Racine, who is sidelined after surgery on a broken finger.

Hockaday said: "We're delighted to have Dale on board. He's an exceptional talent, he's played in the Championship at Watford, and he's incredibly quick - a proper defender.

"Aarran is going to be out for a while and players are going to get suspensions and injuries. It's always good to have two players for each position. (Bennett) is a huge asset to the club and competition is healthy."

Bennett joined League One side Yeovil Town on loan last November and made his Yeovil Town debut as a substitute in their 3-1 defeat against Carlisle United, but this was his only appearance for the club as he returned to Watford last month due to a back injury.

Hockaday added: "Dale is a really decent lad, a really good character. A window of opportunity opened and we grabbed him."