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Dartford joint-managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle leave by mutual consent

ByMatthew Panting

Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle have left their position as joint-managers of Dartford.

The Darts announced the news less than an hour after Tuesday night's 3-2 defeat at Tonbridge in National League South.

Jamie Coyle, left, and Adam Flanagan have left Dartford. Picture: Andy Payton
Jamie Coyle, left, and Adam Flanagan have left Dartford. Picture: Andy Payton

The result left Dartford with just seven points - and only one win - from their first nine league games.

“They're both stalwarts of the club and have got the club at heart - the same as we have,” said Dartford co-chairman Dave Skinner.

“They're going to move on and we've got to pull it together again.”

Their departure follows a dreadful run of form, which began at the end of last season. Darts have won just twice in 17 games.

After a slow start to the new campaign, Dartford were expected to review their position after 10 matches – but the decision has come before that.

“They had a target to meet and they haven't reached the target,” confirmed Mr Skinner.

“We changed the squad from last season. On paper the squad is very good but somehow it just hasn't worked.

“Everyone says it's more money. The budget has been slightly increased but only a cost of living increase, that's all - nothing major.

“For the quality of the squad we've got, we'd expect to be higher up than we are.”

The duo were appointed joint-managers in May 2018, succeeding Tony Burman who was in charge for over a decade at Princes Park and guided the club to the top flight of non-league football.

It was always going to be a tough act for anyone to follow.

“It's a massive job to try and follow somebody like Tony,” added Mr Skinner.

“They've been unfortunate because a lot of things have gone wrong for them.

“Everyone just blames them and they take the blame but so many things have gone wrong over the course of this year and last year. Injuries, decisions going against us, but ultimately they take the responsibility.”

Dartford will now begin the search for a new manager.

While Burman – still a director at the club – is an obvious choice to take temporary charge, Dartford have to decide whether to advertise the post.

“Hopefully we'll appoint someone as soon as we can,” said Mr Skinner. “We'll decide whether we want to go to someone or put it out to advert.”

Flanagan said on Twitter: "Jamie and myself resigned after the game. We notified the players and then Steve, Dave and Tony.

"Dartford is a great club and I have loved being back but we always said we would put the club first and the results haven’t been to the required level.

"We have disappointed fans and that’s the last thing we wanted to do.

"I wish the greatest of success to the club going forward and I will be back over to watch and encourage at some point in the future."

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