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Ebbsfleet United striker Danny Mills on his loan move to Dartford FC

By Steve Tervet

Danny Mills admitted the time was right for him to leave Ebbsfleet on loan after agreeing a two-month deal with their neighbours Dartford.

Mills joined Fleet from Whitehawk in the summer but has started just two of their 22 games in the National League.

He worked hard to impress manager Daryl McMahon but became increasingly frustrated with his lack of game time, even as a substitute.

Danny Mills in action for Ebbsfleet Picture: Andy Payton
Danny Mills in action for Ebbsfleet Picture: Andy Payton

Mills has only featured in nine league matches all season and with two strikers on their way back from injury and McMahon looking to sign another, his prospects weren't looking good.

"Going from playing 250 games in five years to not knowing if I’ll be in the squad has been really difficult," Mills said. "It’s not something I’m used to but over the last few months, I’ve still worked hard during training and showed a professional attitude.

"But there comes a time when you have to make a decision. I want to go out and play football and after being used to playing so much, I wanted that feeling again. I wanted that excitement of looking forward to a game on a Saturday, knowing that you’re going to go out and play.

"If you’re not playing football, you can’t be happy, it’s as simple as that. It’s been very disappointing to get so few opportunities.

"That being said, I look at the players who have been playing ahead of me and fair play to people like Danny Kedwell, he’s done really well. He’s put in very good performances and he’s scoring goals so it’s been very hard to try to get in the team ahead of him.

"For me, it was just trying to get minutes on the pitch and when it gets to the point when there’s not really that many minutes you start getting more disheartened and you think ‘I just want to play.’

"No matter how much you enjoy being around the club and getting on with the players - which I do, I have a very good relationship with everyone, even the manager - you still can’t be happy not playing football on a Saturday and Tuesday night."

Several clubs showed interest when Mills' name was circulated but he only had eyes for Dartford.

Mills said: "I didn’t just want to go to any club - that was important to me.

Danny Mills playing for Whitehawk against Dartford last season Picture: Andy Payton
Danny Mills playing for Whitehawk against Dartford last season Picture: Andy Payton

"Whatever options I had on the table, I wanted to make sure I picked the right place to go, even if it is just a loan for a couple of months. I want to go somewhere I’m going to thrive, where I’m going to have opportunities to score goals and be successful.

"I was successful before I came to Ebbsfleet and I want to gain momentum again.

"When the gaffer put out a circular to say I was available, a number of clubs came back and it was a choice of where I wanted to go.

"I wanted to go to a team that was challenging, up there at the top of the table, fighting for promotion. I want to play for something every week, I didn’t want to go to a team that was mid-table so when the opportunity to go to Dartford came up, it was a no-brainer.

"It’s a very good football club and the set-up is fantastic.

"I went to meet Tony Burman on Friday, he showed me around the club and I said to myself ‘this is a place where I want to be successful and loved by the fans and help the club towards promotion.’"

Mills went straight into the starting XI on Saturday and the Darts won 1-0 at Poole to open up a three-point lead at the top of National League South.

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