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Ebbsfleet United confirm they are to sign defender Tom Bonner on an 18-month contract from Cambridge United

By Steve Tervet

Tom Bonner playing for Dover against Dartford earlier this season Picture Steve Crispe

Tom Bonner playing for Dover against Dartford earlier this season Picture: Steve Crispe

Ebbsfleet United have agreed to sign former Dartford defender Tom Bonner from Cambridge United.

Bonner has spent most of the season so far on loan with Fleet's county rivals Dover Athletic, making 29 appearances for the Vanarama Conference club.

That loan spell was due to expire this weekend, after Dover's home game against Dartford.

But the 26-year-old, who the Whites tried to sign permanently themselves, will sign an 18-month contract at the PHB Stadium on Monday after rejecting the chance to stay at Crabble.

Ebbsfleet vice-chairman Peter Varney said: "Tom received a number of offers from other clubs but this move suited his circumstances and matched his long-term ambition.

"I have seen some ludicrous sums bandied about in relation to what this club is spending but the fact is similar deals were on offer to Tom elsewhere and he opted for this one for footballing reasons and to further his own career development as much as anything else."

Fleet manager Jamie Day added: "Tom will be a fantastic addition to the team.

"He is a player I have tracked for years and he will add good quality and experience which we need at this stage of the season and I look forward to working with him."

Bonner joined Dartford in the summer of 2010 and helped them win promotion via the Conference South play-offs in 2011-12.

He was a star performer in the Darts side which finished eighth in Conference Premier the following season, playing 54 times for Tony Burman's side during that campaign.

And those performances earned Bonner, alongside his Dartford team-mate Tom Champion, a move to Cambridge United in May 2013.

Injuries restricted him to nine league appearances for the U's last season although he did feature in the FA Trophy final at Wembley.

Bonner helped Dover reach the third round of the FA Cup this term and his loan spell ends with Chris Kinnear's side 13th in the table, seven points from the play-offs and 16 clear of the drop zone.

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