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Dartford goalkeeper Alan Julian reflects on missed opportunities to climb out of Skrill Premier relegation zone

By Steve Tervet
Alan Julian collects his player-of-the-year trophy from Dartford Supporters Association chairman Ken Humphrey

Alan Julian was named Dartford player-of-the-year on Monday but he admitted the award felt rather hollow in the wake of relegation from Skrill Premier.

The former Gillingham goalkeeper’s efforts across the season saved the Darts plenty of points but he couldn’t stop them dropping out of non-league’s top flight.

And Julian, who left Newport County to go part-time with Dartford last summer, was left with mixed feelings when he picked up his trophy.

He said: "Of course it’s nice to win an award but I’d much rather we had a striker that’s banged in 30 goals winning the awards and sees us pushed up the league a little bit more.

"Over the season, we haven’t been good enough. We’ve been unlucky with injuries but that’s not an excuse. I’m sure everybody gets their injuries over a season.

Tamworth have just made it 1-1 at Princes Park on Easter Monday Picture: Andy Payton

"There were three, four or five opportunities this season where if we’d won the game, we would have climbed out of the bottom four – and we drew or lost those games. In football, you don’t get given too many opportunities, so when they come along, you’ve got to grasp them. We didn’t grasp those opportunities.

"We’d win our games, go on runs and put ourselves in a position to come out of it but we never quite made that jump.

"It doesn’t come down to any individual game. You play 46 games in a season and if you’re not good enough, you’re not good enough. The league table does not lie.

"We hit a bit of form, we went five or six unbeaten, then lost a couple, then we did another little run. Confidence was growing, and since the turn of the year, our form was probably mid-table. It was the games before that cost us. We lost 10 in a row earlier on in the season and if you lose 10 in a row, you probably deserve to go down."

Full interview in the Dartford Messenger.

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