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Dartford FC boss Tony Burman will decide whether to switch to morning training or stick with two evenings a week

Dartford are set to make a decision on whether or not they will switch to daytime training next season.

The switch is part of their three-year plan to get back to the National League and it could happen this summer.

But it’s not an easy call for manager Tony Burman.

Dartford manager Tony Burman Picture: Andy Payton
Dartford manager Tony Burman Picture: Andy Payton

He said: "It is the way forward but it’s got to happen at the right time, when we’re ready and with everybody agreeable.

"I’m going to make those decisions within the next week or so.

"If it’s not right to train in the mornings, we’ll not do it, if I don’t think everything’s in place.

"You end up losing a lot of experienced players (if you stop training in the evening). People have got jobs and they can’t do the mornings.

"There’s no point doing morning training when you’re only getting 50% of your squad turning up.

"It’s an awkward time to start to train but if our ambitions are to get back up into the Premier, we will need to be training twice, maybe three times, in the morning."

Burman is already talking to players about next season but insists their plans won’t shape Dartford’s next move.

He said: "It’s whether, as a club, we want to make that change and go to three mornings.

"If we did, we’ve got to be 100% behind it and be able to make that transition.

"I can say ‘we can do it’ and it would be made with younger players but you need to have older players in your squad.

"It’s been proved this year we were right to keep the players who have been with us for a long while. They’ve helped with the transition phase."

Dartford finished eighth in National League South, five points outside the play-offs, after losing 4-0 at St Albans on the final day of the season.

Burman said: "I was asked to keep us in the top 10 and be challenging for the play-offs.

"We did those things but it’s frustrating because we could so easily have got into the play-offs.

"We need to be more consistent. We lost too many games. We consolidated this year to a certain extent but we knew it was going to be different simply because we pulled in so many youngsters and gave them chances.

"Overall, the season has been reasonable but it’s that little bitter taste because there was an opportunity to get into the play-offs."

He added: "It’s a longer-term plan for us and we will continue to bed some youngsters in.

"The youngsters this year have had an experience of being in league football and they’ve won some silverware.

"They’ve had the experience of playing in front of supporters and hearing good and bad things about themselves. It will make them stronger in the future."

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