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Dartford FC goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim to be restored to the starting line-up

By Steve Tervet

Deren Ibrahim will be reinstated as Dartford's first-choice goalkeeper this season.

The 27-year-old spent the latter part of last season on the bench after Darts brought in Berti Schotterl for the National League South title run-in.

But Ibrahim, who's been at Dartford since he was a schoolboy, has been told he'll be No.1 again in 2018-19.

Dartford goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim Picture: Andy Payton
Dartford goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim Picture: Andy Payton

Joint-manager Adam Flanagan said: "Deren is someone we rate quite highly.

"I think he'd hold his hands up and say his levels of performance weren't where he's shown to be and he probably did need to come out of the team.

"But he's very passionate about the club, he's very eager to get back to the levels he's set and we're hopeful we'll get the very best out of him.

"We challenged him when he came in to see us. We felt he needed to go away and work on bits and pieces prior to coming back for pre-season.

"We've been monitoring that during the off-season and he's been hitting the targets we've set.

"When you've got a players who's prepared to put the work in even prior to pre-season starting, those are the kind of individuals you want around your club and your squad."

So will Flanagan and joint-boss Jamie Coyle bring in a second keeper as back-up?

"It's something we'll assess as the season goes along," Flanagan said. "Most clubs at this level run without a keeper on the bench but it's something we'll decide as we get closer to the season.

"It's the balance of having that safety net, should your keeper get injured, against having an outfield player on the bench - whether it be a defender coming on to shore the back four up or another forward so you can change your attacking options if you're trying to get something out of the game.

"At the moment, it depends on what we do with the squad and what kind of squad size we have. The precautions we want to take will determine if we have that second keeper or not."

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