Published: 00:00, 16 November 2018
Andre Coker says the intensity of men’s football is helping him grow up fast at Dartford.
The winger, who’s halfway through a three-month loan spell from Maidstone, scored his first Darts goal on Tuesday.
Coker, 20, left Crystal Palace at the end of last season and is quickly discovering what non-league is all about.
He said: “It’s way more intense and it means more.
“Prior to this year, I’d never played for points. You want to win but there’s no real incentive.
“This year I’ve learnt about winning and losing. I’ve seen players punch walls over losing. It really means something to the boys and I like that.
“I’m trying to learn as much as I can because it will help me in the long run. It’s tough but it’s something that needs to be done.
“I told the boys to get onto me if I’m not doing the right thing.
“Sometimes I want them to shut up but at the same time, I know it’s helpful and I have to listen and take in what they’re saying.
“They’ve been in higher leagues and done it all so I can’t turn round and say they’re wrong.”
There was redemption for Dartford and Coker on Tuesday night when they beat Oxford City 3-2 in National League South.
Coker said: “My first game was against Oxford and they battered us 4-1 in the FA Cup.
“It was a very bad day. I remember coming off the pitch, thinking ‘this shouldn’t have happened’.
“We’re much better than how we performed there
“Everyone was up for it and we knew what we wanted to do. Although it was 3-2, we were going for that fourth one to throw it back in their faces.”
More by this authorSteve Tervet