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Versatile Keaton Wood says return to National League South Dartford will improve him as a player

By Steve Tervet

Keaton Wood is ready to shine for Dartford in several positions after rejoining the club on a permanent basis this week.

The 20-year-old, released by Millwall at the end of last season, became manager Tony Burman’s second summer signing on Monday.

Wood impressed during a loan spell at Princes Park towards the end of 2015-16, during which he played at centre-half.

Keaton Wood will have more than one role to play at Dartford Picture: Andy Payton

Dartford are now well covered in that position, with Tom Bonner and Ronnie Vint already signed up and Callum McNaughton coming back to prove his fitness in pre-season.
Wood, therefore, could be used elsewhere.

He said: “I’ve got to accept my versatility as a player, both physically and technically.

“At Dartford I only played at centre-half but (previously) I’ve played all across the back and centre-midfield, so that’s another avenue myself and Tony have looked at.

“My strongest position is centre-half, since I was 15-years-old. But even since then I’ve played many positions.

“It’s about me learning the trade, adopting many positions and using that to my advantage. I’m sure, throughout the season, I’ll be seen in different positions. It can only better me.”

Burman was delighted to secure Wood’s signature having been in contact throughout the summer.

He said: “Keaton had a few offers from other clubs but after a chat over the weekend he’s decided to come back.

“I know we played him at centre-half but he can play anywhere along the back four and he can probably play as a holding midfield player as well.

New signing Keaton Wood shakes hands with Dartford manager Tony Burman

“When we have a smaller squad to run with, it’s nice that you can play players in different positions.

“He’s got a desire and a hunger to do well. Without doubt, he’s a winner. He’s 20 years of age and a good prospect.

“He’s had a good time at Millwall. It hasn’t quite worked out for him but he now starts again in the non-league scene.

“He’s got everything to play for as far as I’m concerned. His attitude is spot on.”
Wood spent four years at Millwall but is ready for National League South.

He said: “This is a transition year, dropping out of the pro game. It’s a different opportunity for me to better myself and my career.

“For myself and Dartford, we can use each other to do better.

“It was about time for me to get a bit of first-team football. The competitive edge is something I could definitely add.

“Millwall treated me well and nurtured me but they also let me grow into the player I want to be and I can’t thank them enough.”

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