Last chance to purchase Princes Park tickets - Dave Martin trains with League club

Friday 20th October 2006

Dartford co-chairman Mr David Skinner is extremely delighted that the opening game at the stunning, all covered £6.5m Princes Park Stadium will be a 4,100 sell out and fans must purchase their tickets NOW to avoid disappointment, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Darts welcome Horsham YMCA on Saturday 11 November as they end their 14-years in exile, but welcome the same side in a dress rehearsal on Sunday in the FA Trophy first qualifying round at Thurrock’s Ship Lane ground in Grays.

This game in Essex could even be the Darts last ever home game in exile before their emotional return to the town, especially if their league game against Leatherhead on Monday 30 October is postponed due to the Surrey side’s FA Cup exploits.

“The sales are going extremely well and a final warning for people who want to go to get their tickets because we anticipate selling out next week,” Mr Skinner revealed EXCLUSIVELY to this afternoon.

“The capacity crowd is 4,100, obviously there’s some VIP freebies in there.

“It’s a great boost to think that everybody that said over the years that everyone will come to see us when we come back to the town.

“Everyone is true to their words and the council’s hard-work and investment has been appreciated by the people of Dartford.”

Looking ahead to the FA Trophy clash against their first ever opponents at Princes Park, Mr Skinner said: “Whoever wins on Sunday won’t be guaranteed a win on the 11th, It’s difficult to judge how players will react playing in front of a crowd of 4,100.”

Mr Skinner revealed he hopes Sunday’s Trophy tussle will attract a crowd of over 500.

But manager Tony Burman is relishing the game as they look forward to emulating last season’s run, when they defeated Margate and Dover Athletic before losing at AFC Wimbledon in a lucrative replay.

He said: “Last season in this competition everybody involved with the club had a very enjoyable time and it left us all with a new feel good factor about the club and for me it brought us all, on and off the field, closer together.”

Former Darts boss Tommy Sampson is coach at Horsham YMCA, and Burman added: “He wasted no time in leaving his trade mark on the side by them gaining promotion last season.

“Like myself, Gary Julians and Tommy, the three managers that this club have had since the reformation, we have all had the club at heart and have all given 100% in our time in charge.

“Cup ties are one off games and I want the team to work hard but express themselves with some quality play, which we all know has been produced this season.

“We have very good players in this squad and it’s important that we try our best and progress to the next round of this competition.”

Winger Dave Martin, who was plucked from reserve team football by former Slade Green managers Phil Miles and Terry Malin, and has become a star performer for the Darts and is arguably the most talented player in Kent football, has been given a chance to impress in training at two unnamed League clubs.

Burman said: “With our match being the only game on Sunday I hope that we can attract a large crowd.

“I know for sure that the attendance will be boosted by a fair number of managers and scouts from other sides watching players in our side.

“I told you a couple of weeks ago that this was happening and that I would give you news as and when it happened.

“At this moment in time two league clubs have approached me regarding Dave Martin and both would like to take Dave for a week’s training.

“Dave started training with one of these clubs yesterday and I want to stress to everybody that at this stage it is only a weeks training and nothing more.

“Dave is a valuable member of my squad but I could not deny him an insight in to what a professional footballers life might be.”

Midfielder Eddie McClements is fully fit for Sunday’s game, but Jay May, who pulled a muscle in his back during their 2-1 defeat at Tooting & Mitcham United in midweek, is doubtful.

Mr Skinner insists Martin, whose in the Darts squad on Sunday, is not leaving the club - yet.

Without naming the two League clubs involved, he said: “Let’s just say we have two League clubs who are interested in Dave training with them and he is currently training with one of them.

“There is no intention of him leaving yet. He’s sampling the atmospshere but if sometime in the future a League club comes in for him, he will be able to step up to that level.

“We feel a League club is the level to move up to and not another non-league club.”

Mr Tom Carney, the PR manager at Dartford Borough Council, urges fans that want to attend the Princes Park opener order their tickets NOW.

“We will be shutting down the online and telephone booking sales in the next 12 hours as we will be sold out so if you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, please do so very urgently,” he said.

Mr Skinner said the main outside gates to the stadium will be opened at 12 noon on 11 th November, and there will be entertainment on the plaza before the eight turnstiles open at 1pm. He urges fans that have tickets to the game to arrive early to avoid delays in the game kicking off.

Burman quotes courtesy of


Dartford v Horsham YMCA
FA Trophy First Qualifying Round
Sunday 22 October 2006
Kick Off 3:00pm
At Thurrock FC, Ship Lane, Grays, Essex