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Dartford FC midfielder Lyle Della-Verde must earn his place after signing

By Steve Tervet

Tony Burman has challenged new signing Lyle Della-Verde to emulate what Luke Wanadio achieved at Dartford last season.

Midfielder Della-Verde this week became the Darts’ first summer signing having most recently played for Concord in National League South.

The 22-year-old began 2016/17 at Welling, from where Wanadio joined Dartford last summer.

Tony Burman with new signing Lyle Della-Verde
Tony Burman with new signing Lyle Della-Verde

His performances for Burman’s side earned a move into the National League with Bromley and now Della-Verde has the chance to prove himself in a white shirt.

Burman said: "Here, it’s not really a revolving door. When you’ve signed, you’re in and you have to work hard to get your place. You have to earn that respect.

"We don’t run with a big squad and Lyle knows there’s going to be opportunities but he knows he’s got to put other people under pressure, which I’m sure he will.

"We want to help him to improve his game. We did that with Luke.

"Luke said no one else was going to touch him but we did and he had a good season. He bought into what we do and I’m sure Lyle will do the same thing."

Burman doesn’t see Della-Verde as a direct replacement for Wanadio, comparing him more closely to Ryan Hayes.

Luke Wanadio left Dartford to sign for Bromley this summer Picture: Andy Payton
Luke Wanadio left Dartford to sign for Bromley this summer Picture: Andy Payton

He said: "Luke is a wide player but Lyle can play left side or right and in the centre.

"Lyle’s someone I was talking to before I went away.

"I’ve watched him a few times and his name was brought up in the summer of last year. I kept tabs on him.

"He’s been in League football and had a bit of a baptism in non-league football last season. He’s a good footballer and I want to improve him.

"At 22, he’s a breath of fresh air for us because it’s been nice to speak to someone who’s appreciating what we’ve got and he’s got that hunger to do well."

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