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Dartford boss Tony Burman says FA Cup tie against Swindon gives finances a much-needed boost

By Steve Tervet

The good times are coming back to Princes Park after Dartford were drawn at home to Swindon Town in the FA Cup first round.

Darts’ first home game against Football League opposition for seven years is just over two weeks away and manager Tony Burman says the tie is a reward for Dartford’s hard work since relegation from the National League.

The club have already earned £24,500 from this cup run with more gate receipts and possibly TV money to come.

Dartford boss Tony Burman Picture John Westhrop

Dartford boss Tony Burman Picture: John Westhrop

Burman said: “It’s a massive boost, that coming into the club.

“It’s been no secret that we’ve struggled over the last couple of years to make ends meet. It does cost money to run a big stadium like we’ve got.

“It makes things that little bit easier and that’s why all the non-league clubs want to be in the FA Cup. It’s not the only reason, because it puts us on the map but it also brings financial rewards.

“It’s a good draw for us. It will be a big day for the club and the town and I hope it’ll bring in a big crowd. It’s something we can all look forward to.

“It would be nice to get the enthusiasm going again and bring back some good times. Everyone deserves it.

“It hasn’t been brilliant over the last two or three years and we have to accept football can be like that.

“These days are something we all want to look forward to and be proud of what we’ve achieved as a football club and get the interest back.”

Before then, Dartford face three league games in eight days which will test their National League South title credentials.

They go to Chelmsford on Saturday – having lost to the Clarets in the play-offs last season – before visiting Bath on Tuesday. High-flying St Albans come to Princes Park next weekend.

Burman said: “It’s not the be-all and end-all but it’s a good test to see where we are.

“We’ve got three tough games coming up and we’ve got to enjoy them and be professional in what we do.

“It’s always tough at Chelmsford. They’ve made a lot of changes to their side but they’re always big and strong.

“They get plenty of high balls into the box and we’ve got to battle and match them for effort.

“We’re playing at their place so they’ll come at us and we’ve got to defend well and use the ball when we win it back.”

Duane Ofori-Acheampong (knee) and Mark Onyemah both missed Dartford’s FA Cup win at Burgess Hill on Saturday but Burman hopes to have both available this weekend.

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