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Dartford FC midfielder Alex Brown believes his new club will challenge for promotion in National League South

By Steve Tervet

New signing Alex Brown expects Dartford to challenge for promotion to the National League this season.

The midfielder has experience of the division with Maidstone and believes the Darts have what it takes to follow the Stones up.

Brown, 23, this week became manager Tony Burman’s third summer acquisition and the set-up at Princes Park has him excited about what lies ahead.

Dartford's new signing Alex Brown on the ball for Maidstone Picture Martin Apps

Dartford's new signing Alex Brown on the ball for Maidstone Picture: Martin Apps

He said: "Dartford have got ambitions to be right up there. We should be challenging at least in the play-offs.

"They’ve definitely got the structure and the team to do it. A few of those boys have been there and done it before.

"Tony knows my old manager quite well, Jay Saunders, and he might have passed my number along. We had a chat over the phone and I ended up going down there and meeting the assistant manager and signing on Saturday.

"I’ve been for a training session there before, nearly four years ago, before I joined Maidstone.

"I could tell then it was a big club, a big facility and showing me around the ground on Saturday, I could see where the club’s been and what they’re trying to do. It’s a good club."

Brown started his career at Gillingham and then helped Maidstone win two promotions in three seasons.

A fans favourite at the Gallagher Stadium, he was the first player to sign a new deal after Stones won the Ryman League, Premier Division title in 2014-15.

Brown said: "I started the first 8-10 games for Maidstone but in September I picked up a knee injury. It took me about two months to recover and couldn’t get back in the team.

"At that time, Maidstone had a good run of results and he (Saunders) didn’t change the team.

"The season before, I was in and out of the team so I was thinking ‘I need to be playing’ and I didn’t want to be sitting on the bench.

"I ended up joining Leatherhead on loan, where I did quite well and they signed me until the end of the season.

"It was a big difference going back into that league (Ryman Premier) and playing in a different kind of team. I enjoyed it but wanted to be back in National South.

"I’m an energetic midfielder, getting around the box, attacking, getting some goals and hopefully getting forward in support of the strikers.

"That’s what I’ve been doing in recent years and hopefully I can do that for Dartford as well."

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