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Dartford manager Alan Dowson still to name new skipper after Tom Bonner’s retirement

Boss Alan Dowson is keeping his cards close to his chest over who Dartford’s new captain will be this season.

Darts begin the National League South campaign at home to Bath this Saturday.

Dartford manager Alan Dowson. Picture: Keith Gillard
Dartford manager Alan Dowson. Picture: Keith Gillard

But they will do so without defender Tom Bonner, who has retired, and his centre-half partner Connor Essam, who has left for Faversham Town.

The new term is now just days away but the player who will wear the Dartford armband is still yet to be confirmed.

“I think it’s going to be close,” said Dowson on Tuesday. “The hardest job will be to replace Tom Bonner.

“We would rather wait until the last minute.

“I might have decided behind-closed-doors, but I don’t want to say at the minute.”

Dowson’s troops lost 1-0 to Billericay last Saturday and drew 2-2 against newly-promoted Isthmian South East side Phoenix Sports the night before. Midfielder Marvin Herschel and a trialist got their goals.

But he insisted: “We will be different for Saturday. Have we won a game in pre-season? I don’t think we have.

“You can have a good pre-season or a bad pre-season, but players and referees change now - the whole mentality changes.”

Darts finished pre-season with a 3-1 loss to Leatherhead on Tuesday, Oliver Box scoring.

Asked if he knew his starting line-up for Bath, Dowson replied: “I will do after tonight.

“Hopefully, Charlie Sheringham gets through 90 minutes again, Luke Allen gets 90 minutes, and Tommy Block is involved as well.”

Dartford’s weekend visitors came 11th last term, seven points off the play-offs.

“They’re a decent side,” noted Dowson.

“Wrayie [Academy graduate keeper Tom Wray] has been a revelation. Hopefully, he can keep it going into the season.

“Harvey Bradbury will be back on Saturday, as well, so it should be quite an exciting first game.”

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