I’m really confident we can have a real good go and we’ll be pushing to do the best we can and get in the play-offs, says Dartford joint-manager Jamie Coyle
DARTFORD joint-manager Jamie Coyle says the club will be going through a transition period this season.
Coyle and Adam Flanagan – both former Dartford defenders - took over from the legendary Tony Burman, who has moved into a managing director and head of Academy role at Princes Park.
The Darts suffered a heartbreaking end to their campaign last time out, finishing runners-up to Havant & Waterlooville, who clinched promotion to the top-flight on goal-difference and suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Braintree Town in the play-off semi-finals in Burman’s final game in charge.
Dartford lost 5-0 at home to Sky Bet Championship side Millwall eight days ago, but a couple of days later, Dartford beat Bostik North Division side Aveley 6-0 and came away from Sevenoaks Town with a 4-1 win yesterday.
Dartford welcome Sky Bet League One side Gillingham to Princes Park on Tuesday night as they build up to their Vanarama National League South opener away to Bath City on 4 August.
“It’s a good test. I think it will give us a reflection where we are in terms of our fitness,” said Coyle, who was in charge of their league rivals Welling United for one season.
“It will be a tough game. They’re a good side, they’ve had some good pre-season results. It’s going to be a tough one on Tuesday but I’m looking forward to it because they’re the type of games you can gage where we’re at, how much more work we need to do and see where we are.”
Coyle’s first impressions of his new club have gone down well.
“It’s just great being at such a professionally run football club, behind the scenes everything going on at the place, it’s just a great environment to be in.
“Tony Burman’s been really supportive. He’s been supporting in regards of signings that come during the day because he’s at the club. He’s been brilliant!
“Everything we’ve asked for, bringing in a sports scientist (Harrison Grant from National League club Maidstone United), the nutrition side of it, the club have supported that and we thank them for that.
“It’s good that they’re seeing our vision and where we want to go and the different things that we want to bring and it’s exciting times ahead.”
There’s plenty of club’s in the Vanarama National League South that are splashing the cash and Coyle is keen for his team to compete against them.
“It’s a transition period this season,” said Coyle.
“There’s a lot of players that have gone and come in, you can’t forget how much stronger the league is going to be this year with the financial clout that’s coming into the league, whether it’s down or up.
“It’s going to be really tough but we’ve got a real good group of players. I think we’ve improved on what we had last year and I’m really confident we can have a real good go and we’ll be pushing to do the best we can and get in the play-offs.
“You’ve got your Billericay’s, Dulwich’s, Woking’s, Torquay’s, it’s going to be a tough league but we’ll be competitive and we will compete and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We’ll work as hard as we possibly can and with the quality that we’ve got, I’m confident that we’ll have a very good season.”
Visit Dartford’s website: www.dartfordfc.com
Dartford v Gillingham
Tuesday 17th July 2018
Kick Off 7:30pm
at Princes Park Stadium, Grassbanks, Darenth Road, Dartford, Kent DA1 1RT