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Gillingham boss Peter Taylor spent four successful years as manager of Dartford

By Luke Cawdell
Gillingham boss Peter Taylor Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham boss Peter Taylor Picture: Barry Goodwin

Peter Taylor is looking forward to returning to a club he holds in high esteem.

Taylor’s Gillingham squad are back on the road on Tuesday as they continue preparations for their League 1 campaign.

Dartford are the opposition – a club where Taylor started his managerial career.

“We had four fabulous years,” Taylor recalled of his time with the Darts between 1986 and 1990.

During that period the club were renowned for scoring plenty of goals and they won the Southern Cup twice, missing out on a trio of wins by losing the 1990 final.

In the four seasons of Taylor’s time there, the Darts never finished outside of the top four in the Southern League, Premier Division.

An impressive spell also saw the Darts win the Southern League Trophy twice, the Kent Senior Cup twice and reached the FA Trophy semi-finals on two occasions.

“I remember my time there well and it was my first time as a manager on a Saturday,” said Taylor.

“I had ran millions of Sunday teams and in 1986 I got the opportunity to manage Dartford. They had just been relegated from the Conference under John Still and it was my first Saturday job, training a team twice a week and it was good.

“Tony Burman (the current Dartford manager) was centre forward. He was a very good, clever player and in those four years we did everything but win the league. It was very successful time.

“I still know lots of people there and it’s a very nice place.”

The Darts were relegated from the Conference Premier at the end of last season but won a reprieve, following Salisbury City’s demotion due to financial problems.

“I am pleased they got a result and are back in the division,” said Taylor.

“Tony has a difficult job, the Conference is a hard league and thankfully in the end they got a reprieve and are still in it.”

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