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Dartford boss Tony Burman facing transfer competition from Ebbsfleet United, Maidstone United and others this summer

By Steve Tervet
Tony Burman Picture: Steve Crispe
Tony Burman Picture: Steve Crispe

Dartford boss Tony Burman knows he faces fierce competition from other Kent clubs in the race to sign players this summer.

Defeat in last Saturday’s play-off final means Kuwaiti-owned Ebbsfleet United will be one of the sides doing battle with the Darts in Conference South next season.

And with Bromley, Maidstone and Margate all boasting competitive budgets – not to mention teams beyond Kent’s borders – Burman has a real job on his hands.

He said: "There are some big clubs, some wealthy clubs in Conference South. We’re not taking anything for granted but we’ll do our best to get back into the Premier.

"It is competitive and we’re in the middle of it all. There are lots of clubs with finances around and it’s going to be an interesting summer."

Burman already has five players signed on for next season after Lee Burns, Ryan Hayes, Lee Noble, Danny Harris and Max Cornhill penned new deals this week. With more than a thousand Dartford appearances between them, Burns, Hayes, Noble and Harris have formed the core of Burman’s squad since 2009.

He said: "It’s important (to have them) because they know what we’re about. They’ve given a lot to this club and they’ve got experience of this league, Conference South.

"They’re like me. They don’t want to sit here (in this division) but we haven’t got a divine right. We’ve got a lot of hard work to do."

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