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Dartford goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim now playing each game like it is his last after recovery from dislocated shoulder

By Steve Tervet

Deren Ibrahim’s injury scare at the end of last season has made him think differently about his football.

Ibrahim dislocated his shoulder playing for Dartford at Maidstone in April and feared the damage would rule him out for the whole of this season.

But he’s been ever-present for the Darts in National League South so far.

Deren Ibrahim clutches his dislocated right shoulder Picture Martin Apps

Deren Ibrahim clutches his dislocated right shoulder Picture: Martin Apps

Ibrahim said: "Now I play every game like it’s my last. I don’t take things for granted.

"I went four years without (an injury) and then, all of a sudden, it comes. When it happened, I was fearing the worst. When I first spoke to the specialist, it wasn’t good.

"I’ve had to do a lot of work over the summer and it was touch-and-go whether I would even play this year.

"Thankfully I’ve come back, played seven games now and it feels good, so I’ve got to keep working as hard as I can."

Ibrahim feels his game has improved since Barry Bell joined Dartford as their new goalkeeping coach and he’s backing the team to challenge for promotion.

He said: "I’ve been here for nine years and this squad is one of the best we’ve had. We’ve got a bit of everything.

"If we’ve got to battle, we’ve got people who can battle, we’ve got players who are comfortable on the ball, who can play in tight areas and we’ve got that pace now.

"We’ve been lacking a little bit of pace but we’re now starting to press teams up front.

"We’re winning the ball higher up the pitch, which is giving us more of a chance of scoring rather than winning it back on our line and then we’ve still got to work the length of the pitch."

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