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Tony Burman on his decision to quit as Dartford FC manager

By Steve Tervet

Tony Burman has explained his decision to step down as Dartford manager.

After more than 13 years in the role Burman resigned following the Darts' play-off defeat at home to Braintree.

He's since been replaced by former players Jamie Coyle and Adam Flanagan.

Tony Burman Picture: Andy Payton
Tony Burman Picture: Andy Payton

Burman said: "It’s been a strange week and a sad week but it happens and you have to move on.

"It was going to happen one day and I felt it was the right time to let someone else take the helm.

"I had been considering things, whether we were going to go up or stay in the same league.

"I did want to go up and help change the club from part-time to semi-professional with three mornings and move the club in that direction.

"It’s something we’ve thought about for a while, especially if we did move into the top league. It was a challenge for me to make that happen and to also change the way the club was working.

"I’m sure it will happen for us one day. That’s what we’ve got to strive to do."

Dartford went into the play-offs having missed out on the National League South title on goal-difference.

Victory at Bognor Regis on the final day was sending them up as champions until a last-minute winner for Havant & Waterlooville in their game changed everything.

"It was difficult because of what happened at Bognor," Burman said. "It was a strange feeling because we’d won the game and it was like we’d been relegated.

"The same feeling was there against Braintree. We needed to score a goal and I felt we had enough chances in the first half to do that.

"In the second half, Braintree played well enough to win the game 1-0 and it was a strange feeling afterwards. It was like we’d been relegated and it wasn’t very nice to be fair.

"But the players gave us everything. They’d done so well and I know you can say we dropped points but the stats are showing favourable things. A lot of it was better than last year.

"All in all, if you look at it, it was an excellent season with the FA Cup run and we got another group of players together and challenged for the title. That’s what we were asked to do and I don’t think anyone could say we didn’t do that all through the season.

"It was difficult to take but what I’m proud of is that we all gave our all.

"The players and staff gave 100% and it wasn’t through a lack of effort that we didn’t quite make it."

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