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Dartford midfielder Billy Crook thriving on return to Princes Park thanks to new boss Steve King's approach

ByMatthew Panting

Midfielder Billy Crook believes Dartford’s style of play under Steve King suits his game.

Crook was recalled from East Thurrock by King with Darts light on midfield players after Lee Noble was sidelined last month.

Billy Crook is a fan of Darts boss Steve King's tactics Picture: Andy Jones
Billy Crook is a fan of Darts boss Steve King's tactics Picture: Andy Jones

He has started every game since and is enjoying his time back at Princes Park.

“We’re trying to play football and I’ve always been in teams that try to play football,” said Crook.

“The more possession we have then the more you will see of me but I’ve got to do the other side as well.

“I needed that time at East Thurrock to get the games in and when the new management was up in the air I was just waiting for that call. Thankfully Kingy has called me back.”

After originally joining Dartford from Braintree in January, Crook found regular game-time earlier this season with East Thurrock but believes he should be playing at this level.

“I want to do well here, last year was injury hit and there were only a few glimpses of what I could do,” he said.

“There’s more to come, I will get fitter with every game.

“When I’ve played at Dartford, I’ve always been impressed by the set-up. It’s a club that should be higher and I want to be part of that.

“It’s a good set of boys, a good manager and the crowd is always good. I enjoy it here and it’s a big club.

“Hopefully this season we can turn things around and most of all we are working hard for the manager and the fans can see that in these two wins (over Eastbourne Borough and Hampton).”

Crook played a key role in Dartford’s win over Hampton on Tuesday night, slotting into a midfield three alongside Luke Allen and academy product Cameron Brodie.

“We knew it was going to be tough as they are on a good run of form,” said Crook.

“We worked hard on Saturday at Eastbourne and those conditions took a lot out of us. But we were confident coming here that we had a game plan and it worked.

“Me and Luke are more ball players and young Cam has got that aggression and likes to win the ball back so it’s a nice balance in there.

“We just have to talk plenty as he is still learning and the back four talked to him constantly.

“Every time we went forward in the first half we looked like we were going to score and we could have gone in 3-1 up really at half-time. We deserved the win.

“Steve King has put that confidence in (us). It will take time, and it is small building blocks. But we’re getting to know his ideas, everyone is buying into it and that’s all you can ask for.”

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