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Dartford boss Tony Burman respects former Ebbsfleet United defender Paul Lorraine's reasons for leaving the club

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

Dartford manager Tony Burman had to laugh when Paul Lorraine left the club this week.

Having tried, and failed, to sign Lorraine several times in recent years, Burman finally got his man when the 30-year-old left Ebbsfleet United at the end of last season.

But the Darts' reprieve from relegation placed them back in Conference Premier and forced youth worker Lorraine to rethink. In the end, the defender decided he couldn't stay at Princes Park because of his work commitments.

The episode comes a year after Lorraine accepted a new deal at Ebbsfleet when the club was rescued at the 11th hour by Kuwaiti investors. He had been set to sign for Dartford.

Burman admitted: "We had a bit of a laugh about it, because every time we’ve been close to working together, it hasn’t come off. It’s just one of those things.

"To be fair, Paul was delighted when the announcement was first made that we were staying in the Premier.

"I’ve tried to sign him for the last three years but there was always something that got in the way. I’ve had numerous discussions with Paul and he’s a good, honest player.

"After a few days, he came in to see me, and it just didn’t fit with what he does. He’s got a new job but it’s not just that, he’s recently got married and he’s moved house.

"He knows the demands of Conference Premier and he felt he wouldn’t be able to give me what he felt was the best of him, with everything else that’s going on. I respect him for that, for being up front."

Read our interview with Paul Lorraine in Thursday's Dartford Messenger.

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