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Dartford FC give Jamie Coyle and Adam Flanagan an increased playing budget

By Steve Tervet

Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle will be given an increased playing budget to strengthen their Dartford squad this summer.

The pair sat down with directors on Monday for a pre-planned end-of-season review and were backed to make the signings needed for a play-off push in 2019/20.

Darts co-chairman Steve Irving feels the joint-managers deserve more respect from some supporters as they approach 12 months in the job.

Dartford joint-managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle Picture: Andy Payton
Dartford joint-managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle Picture: Andy Payton

He said: “There was no question in my mind whatsoever that they would continue next year although a disappointing end to the season spoilt what, on the whole, hadn’t been a bad transitional year.

“It’s a big job to take over from someone like Tony Burman, who had been in the manager’s role for such a long time.

“It was always going to be difficult for any new manager taking over, bringing in new ideas and changing styles and so on.

“The guys work incredibly hard, they’re passionate about making sure the club is successful in the long term and they’d be the first to agree we haven’t got to where we wanted to be.

“But we still finished in the top half of the table and they’ll push on next season. They know what they’ve got to do to make a difference, bring in some new players – which we’ve given them the freedom to do – and we’ll see from there.”

Things are looking up off the field at Princes Park and that will allow Dartford to compete in the transfer market.

Irving said: “We still won’t be throwing money around but we can increase the budgets for the players to a level that’s still affordable.

“We’re stronger financially now than we’ve probably ever been.

“On the back of some really tough years, it’s looking fairly comfortable now – not comfortable enough to throw money around but comfortable enough to know we can make one or two changes.

“Adam and Jamie have a clear vision from the club as to what we want to see from them. They’ve got new ideas and they’ve got to be given some time to put those ideas into play.

“I hope the supporters will give them a little bit more respect and time, over the coming months, to turn that around.

“This season hasn’t been that bad. In the end it was disappointing but for a big chunk of the season, we were battling for fourth and fifth place.

“That was ahead of where we expected to be this season so until the last few weeks, we were in a good position.

“There were a multitude of reasons why that went wrong at the end, none of them excuses, they’re facts; a lot of injuries and not expecting to lose somebody who looked like one of our best strikers when Phil Roberts decided to leave.

“All of these things came along at the same time. When you’ve got Lee Noble and Elliot Bradbrook suspended at the same time and other key players injured for long periods of time, that made it really tough in the end.

“We’ve lost Elliot now after 10 seasons and that’s a massive hole to fill but we have to move on.

“I hope there will be some players from our academy coming through over the next 12 to 24 months and perhaps somebody out there can be the next Elliot Bradbrook, a local lad like Elliot who can come through and become a fixture in the side.”

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