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Nathan Elder enjoying life as a semi-professional footballer with Ebbsfleet United

By Alex Hoad

Nathan Elder is blossoming in the world of part-time football after leaving the professional game to join Ebbsfleet United last summer.

The 27-year-old, who played for Brighton, Brentford, Shrewsbury and Hereford in the Football League, arrived at Stonebridge Road on a free transfer in July 2012.

Life as a semi-professional footballer has brought its own challenges but Elder, with 17 goals already this season, is quickly growing to like it.

He said: "It’s different. It’s the first time I’ve done part-time football for seven or eight years, so the adjustment is there. I need to do a little bit more to make sure I’m keeping fit, where I’m used to training every day.

"It seems to be going well because I’ve scored more goals in the first-half of the season than I have done for quite a while. It’s becoming more of a habit, which is exactly what you want as a striker.

"It’s a huge change. You don’t realise when you’re playing full-time football how much it makes a difference until you’re not doing it any more.

"When I meet young players in full-time football, I tell them ‘you need to stay in it as long as you can.’

"It’s something you miss when you come out of it but I’m scoring more goals, so it’s up and down."

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