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New Dartford manager Steve King excited by challenge ahead

ByMatthew Panting

New Dartford manager Steve King is excited by the challenge at Princes Park.

King was appointed Darts boss on a two and a half year deal on Thursday.

New Dartford manager Steve King. Picture: Keith Gillard
New Dartford manager Steve King. Picture: Keith Gillard

He takes charge for the first time in next week’s FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie and cannot wait to get going.

“It’s a good club and has the potential to do good things,” said King, in his first interview as Dartford manager.

“It’s got good facilities, a fine stadium and a decent fan base, which can hopefully improve if we are doing well.

“They’re averaging around 1,000 at the moment but there is the potential to get to 1,500 – can we get back to that?”

King met the squad for the first time at training on Thursday but spoke only briefly to the players with caretaker boss Tony Burman taking the session ahead of this weekend’s National League South trip to Oxford City.

Dartford sit 17th in the table with just two wins and 10 points from their first 12 games.

King said: "I spoke to the players briefly and I said that as a group ‘how is this team two points off the bottom two?’

“They are underachieving, 100 per cent.”

King is willing to give everyone a chance to impress, however, fully aware that a new face can sometimes bring a better tune out of a player.

“I’ve told them that they will all get an opportunity,” said King. “Different managers get more out of some players but if it’s not working then I will make changes that I feel are necessary.”

When asked about the budget, King replied: “The budget is similar to what I’ve worked with before – it’s as simple as that.”

King brings in his trusted assistant Craig Belgrave to the coaching staff and also added that Andy Pugh has been recalled from his loan spell at East Thurrock, after Charlie Sheringham dislocated his shoulder last weekend and Adam Cunnington left to join Hemel Hempstead.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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