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Dartford FC goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim had offers from clubs in Gibraltar

By Steve Tervet

Deren Ibrahim was offered the chance to play overseas before signing up for another season at Dartford.

The goalkeeper was approached by a number of clubs in the Gibraltar Premier Division, having played three times for the national team since October.

But Ibrahim turned down the chance to play alongside some of his international team-mates at club level, choosing instead to stay with the Darts - the club he joined as a child.

Dartford and Gibraltar goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim Picture: Andy Payton
Dartford and Gibraltar goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim Picture: Andy Payton

Ibrahim said: "This year I wanted to get things done quickly because I knew the games were coming up with Gibraltar (they play Cyprus on Friday, June 9). I wanted to make sure I had a deal sorted before I went out.

"It was the first year I had a couple of offers - not only from teams in England but I had a couple of offers from abroad as well. They were from a couple of the top teams in Gibraltar.

"It’s never been in question, I just wanted to speak to Tony (Burman). I asked Tony a few questions this year and he answered them fine and there was no problem for me to sign.

"For any footballer, that’s what you want. It is nice for people to know what you’re doing and it’s nice to get recognition from not only other players but managers. It means you’re half doing something good.

"But like I said straight after the play-off defeat, my intention was never to leave. I wanted to get things sorted and I was in on the Monday after the game."

Ibrahim has been Dartford's first-choice keeper for the last two seasons and he's confident they can improve on last season's third-placed finish and challenge for the National League South title in 2017-18.

The 26-year-old said: "In any other season, I think we would have been in and around the title. It was just how Ebbsfleet and Maidenhead both dominated because we went on a good run ourselves but every time we won, they won.

"Fair play to them and this year, teams will strengthen. Havant will come up and have a go again but with the core we’ve got, yes, we’ve lost a few but players come and go all the time.

"I think we’ve got ready-made replacements in the squad already for the players who’ve left and I think we can really hit the ground running."

Read more from Deren Ibrahim in Thursday's Dartford Messenger.

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