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Striker Charlie Sheringham takes a pay cut to return to National League South Dartford for a fourth spell

Charlie Sheringham’s desire to play for Dartford again was key, according to boss Alan Dowson.

The 34-year-old striker has returned to Princes Park for a fourth spell with the club.

Charlie Sheringham is now in his fourth spell at Dartford. Picture: Sean Aidan
Charlie Sheringham is now in his fourth spell at Dartford. Picture: Sean Aidan

Darts boss Dowson revealed that the forward has taken a pay cut, such was his desire to be part of the squad.

“Charlie’s goals record in the last couple of seasons has been really good,” stated Dowson.

“His biggest thing is his desire to be here, he desperately wants to finish his career here. He wants to get the club promoted and he matches all our ambitions.

“It wasn’t about money, he’s getting a lot less money here than he was at Chelmsford, to be honest, so that’s credit to him.

“He just wants to be here. If he wants to be here, then I’ve got a chance.”

Sheringham joins Alex Wall and Dan Roberts as forward options for Dowson, and the Darts boss isn’t finished there.

Roberts could be used as both a central striker or wideman, so there are potentially two more spots up for grabs.

“I want two big men and two small men up top,” stated Dowson. “I want four strikers in the squad.

“If we want to win matches then we need some goals from somewhere.

“Dan Roberts is a young lad, he’s the quickest thing we’ve got here as well. We want to sign another striker with pace but you need experience in the team.

“You need people who want to go to places like Concord on a Tuesday night and win matches, and Charlie is one of them. Alex Wall is flying in training at the minute, he is being physical and aggressive to play against already.”

There are still around four places up for grabs in Dowson’s squad, although he is keeping an open mind as their pre-season friendlies get under way.

Dartford host Charlton this Saturday and then Millwall on Tuesday night at Princes Park.

Dowson will also use academy players rather than trialists, with a genuine pathway to the first team open to those who impress.

“It’s the only way you’re going to see how good these lads are,” he said.

“The supporters will understand that and we’ve got to encourage the kids.

“I would rather use academy boys than trialists.

“All of the supporters you talk to are disappointed that a side like Dartford, and how big our academy is, cannot get players through in the first team.

“The only thing is they’ve got to be good enough and if they are good enough then we’ll try them. Some of them might not be ready yet, but the only way I’ll find out is by playing them.

“Trialists who don’t really want to be here, I won’t waste my time with that and I won’t have them stopping a kid coming through.

“When we get trialists we’ll be using them to play and not the other way around. I will play people who we believe in rather than others who want to put themselves in the shop window.

“The first two games will be quite tough. We’re looking to compete. There will be trialists and youngsters in the second half so it’s not about results at the minute, even though I want to do well.

“It’s about getting the players fitter and matches will improve that. They’ve done a lot of running and different bits so far but it’s matches that are the most important thing. If you can run but can’t play then you’re knackered.

“We’re trying to pride ourselves on being the fittest team in the league but it’s matches that give you that extra bit. It’s important for the players to do well because if they play well then they’ll get in the team - if they don’t then they’ll be out. That starts on Saturday.

“These players have to start performing, of course it’s going to be tough against Charlton and Millwall - we’re not daft - but we want to get the team performing.

“We can only pick our best 11 and it doesn’t matter how old or young you are, it will be up to them who gets in the first team.”

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