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Dartford captain Tom Bonner says boss Steve King has transformed National League South play-off chasers' squad with astute signings

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Dartford captain Tom Bonner has praised the club’s recruitment under manager Steve King.

The Darts boss has transformed the squad at Princes Park – and guided his new charges into the National League South play-off places.

Dartford manager Steve King's player judgement has been impressive, says skipper Tom Bonner Picture: Chris Davey
Dartford manager Steve King's player judgement has been impressive, says skipper Tom Bonner Picture: Chris Davey

Bonner has been particularly impressed with the quality of new signings made under King.

Speaking on this week’s KM Football Podcast, Bonner said: “Kingy came in and has really turned it around.

“I’m not sure where we were in the league but we’re now sixth and sitting comfortably in the play-offs at the moment so that speaks for itself.

“He’s changed it a lot, brought a lot of people in and got rid of a few people. Everyone he has brought in are really good players, they’ve improved us massively, and I think it’s really exciting times at Dartford.

“We get players who haven’t trained and I don’t know them. I look at them and think who’s this guy, and they’re unbelievable.

Jacob (Berkeley-Agyepong) came in and I couldn’t believe how good he was, and I thought maybe Kingy got a bit lucky with that one.

“Then Tyrique Hyde would come in without training and you think he’s another good player.

“Everyone he has brought in has improved Dartford massively.”

King has also implemented a style change with the Darts which Bonner is enjoying. A more direct approach has been replaced by an encouragement to pass the ball out from the back.

“They all play football the right way, the amount of penalties we’re getting shows what these guys are about,” said Bonner.

“They are getting on the ball, little intricate passes, running at people and it’s definitely exciting to watch.

“Kingy came in and the first thing he said was he wanted to play more football.

“I wouldn’t say we were a route one team, we just had a style of play that fitted us and we did it well.

“Kingy wanted it to be more attractive. He wanted to play out from the back, he wants the fans to go away from the game and whether we’ve won, drawn or lost, to be more entertaining.

“I’ve always enjoyed playing out from the back but in non-league football it’s not always the way – very few teams are successful playing out from the back.

“I was really excited when Kingy got the job. I thought this was a chance to improve even more.

“We’re trying to be more attractive and if you ask the fans they’d say this is the best football they’ve seen at Dartford for a long time, and I’d have to agree with that.

“We’ve pretty much had a penalty in every game since Kingy has come in and that goes to show you the sort of players that we’ve got.”

Dartford host Chelmsford in National League South at Princes Park on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.

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