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Dartford captain Elliot Bradbrook and striker Tom Bradbrook staying with the club in Conference Premier

By Steve Tervet
Elliot Bradbrook and Tom Bradbrook
Elliot Bradbrook and Tom Bradbrook

Dartford manager Tony Burman hailed Elliot Bradbrook as a "special player" after his captain decided to stay with the club following their reprieve back to Conference Premier.

Bradbrook and his younger brother Tom - a summer arrival from Leatherhead - both had to consider their futures when the Darts were placed back in non-league's top flight.

Both players have jobs in London which aren't easily compatible with life in the Premier Division, but they told Burman this week they weren't going anywhere.

Having Elliot in his squad for a sixth season running is a huge boost for Burman, whose side finished 22nd in the Premier last season.

The midfielder tweeted a picture of a 'For Sale' sign on the day Dartford were reprieved, before deciding to stay.

Burman said: "Over the seasons, he’s been a special player for us.

"He’s got that fight in him. A lot of part-time players might not have the ability that the full-time players have but they have a lot more heart. Elliot plays with heart, he’s a leader, and he’s done that for the last four or five seasons.

"Both of these guys have got jobs in the city but they want to give it a go and I’m pleased about that - and about all the players that have come back. I’m still talking to them, because we’ve done deals for the South, so we’re sorting things out for this year.

"With the league we’re in, it’s more of a full-time league than a part-time league and we’re a part-time club in that league. There are massive demands on the players with the travelling and I hope the fixtures work out well for us.

"It’s a Catch-22 situation because you can do well in the cup competitions but it puts more pressure on you at the end of the season.

"It’s very difficult for the lads to cope, with their jobs, but they’ve been brilliant for this club. They feel a lot about the club. Time and time again, they’ve backed the club and they want to try to help us."

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