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Dartford FC excited to bring former academy player Sam Blackman back to the club

Adam Flanagan hopes the signing of Sam Blackman will signal the start of a stronger bond between players and supporters at Dartford.

Blackman spent time in the Darts academy but moved away to get opportunities in men’s football.

He played against Dartford for Concord last season but will line up for his hometown club in 2019/20.

Dartford joint-manager Adam Flanagan Picture: Andy Jones
Dartford joint-manager Adam Flanagan Picture: Andy Jones

Joint-boss Flanagan said: “What I like about that signing is he’s a Dartford boy.

“He was playing in the academy but he wasn’t able to break through into the first team because he would have been up against, in their prime, Elliot Bradbrook and Lee Noble so that would have been very difficult as a youngster.

“He went away, got his head down and worked hard, played at Leatherhead and when (manager) Sammy Moore moved to Concord he ended up going there.

“He’s built himself a reputation and he showed last year that he’s more than capable at this level.

“We’ve brought him home. His family come to the club, he paid to get out of his contract at Concord and they’re the kind of things that come across to us.

“If a player’s prepared to do that to come to Dartford, it ticks all the boxes.

“With our recruitment this year, we wanted the fans to look out on the pitch and think that it’s got a Dartford feel because there are Dartford players in the team.

“Sam walks to the ground, that’s how close he is, so it’s a good story and we’re excited to work with him next season.”

Flanagan and Jamie Coyle are hopeful of doing more business this week.

“We should hopefully recruit another couple,” Flanagan said. “If they stick to what they’ve said they’ll come in and sign and if we do that, we’re doing OK.

“Players fall into two categories. Some like to have it sorted early and some like to forget about football for a few weeks.

“We’ve spoken to players in the positions we feel we need to improve in and it’s just about waiting now.

“We’ve got great infrastructure at Dartford but we can’t go to players and offer blockbuster deals.

“We offer a professional environment and fair wages and those players that want to be part of Dartford Football Club and come in for what the club stands for, as opposed to a big financial pay day, those players will sign for us.

“Those players where the money is more important for whatever reasons – whether it be mortgage or they don’t work – sometimes we’ll fall short on them.

“But that shouldn’t stop us being able to put a very strong team out next year.”

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