Friday 12th August 2005

Darts optimistic for new season


Dartford make the trip to Arlesey Town tomorrow to open their Southern League Division One East campaign, but they will be without Darren Penfold, Craig Dennis and Gary Carter due to injuries, writes Stephen McCartney.

With a coach leaving Watling Street at noon, the Darts will, once again, be well  supported for the clash at Hitchin Road, and manager Tony Burman told the club's website www.dartfordfc.co.uk he is looking to get the campaign off to an unbeaten start.

He is set to hand new signings Dave Martin, Ian Pulman, Ryan Briggs and Kevin Spriggs, their debuts.

"We have a very tough away game tomorrow but to me all the games are going to be tough," Burman admitted.

"Away from home you look for one or three points but at home you want all three points.

"The season is not a sprint, it's a marathon, but I don't like making outrageous predictions but I want us to improve on last years performances and position in the league.

"I would like to consistently be in the top half of the table and if we are still there or there abouts in March, with our new found optimism around the club, we may just be able to push on big time."

Burman asks the club's tremendous supporters to get behind him and the players, once again, and added: "Above all this club needs you support and I hope we have a great season together as there is so much to look forward to."

The Dartford manager, however, admitted he is better equipped this season to lead the team now he is in his third spell in charge.

"The board also appointed me as the new manager (during the summer).  I would like to say that I feel very comfortable with that decision now as a manager.

"I am a lot more experienced than I was on my two previous appointments with the club.

"Another decision was regarding the reserve and youth teams.  At one stage during the break it looked as if we would not be able to run these two teams due to the lack of facilities in the area, which would have been a backwards step for the club.

"But after careful negotiations with Crockenhill and Thamesmead Town, this problem has been resolved."

Great Wakering Rovers make the trip to Stonebridge Road next Tuesday for the Darts' first home game of the season (7:45pm).

Arlesey Town v Dartford
Southern League Division One East
Saturday 13th August 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Hitchin Road, Arlesey, Bedfordshire