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Dartford midfielder Keiran Murtagh hitting fitness targets set by boss Alan Dowson

Keiran Murtagh needs to improve his fitness to have an impact at Dartford this season.

That’s the message from Darts boss Alan Dowson to the midfielder and it’s a case of so far, so good.

Keiran Murtagh, right, is being put through his paces by Dartford boss Alan Dowson. Picture: Mecha Morton
Keiran Murtagh, right, is being put through his paces by Dartford boss Alan Dowson. Picture: Mecha Morton

Murtagh signed a deal to stay at Princes Park for a second season this week, and Dowson revealed he’s met all the targets put in front of him so far.

“We set him the challenge of getting fitter and he looks fit and trim,” said Dowson.

“He knows he can work on that. Obviously, he got the hump on Saturday because he was running, and he likes to play with the ball. But I’m thinking he’ll get a lot better footballer if he’s fitter.

“It doesn’t matter what age you are, the fitter you are the better you’re going to get. If we can add the fitness to his skill, then we’ve got half a chance for him.

“He did well last season but the difference for us being a top-seven side to a top two or three side could be Murtagh because of what he brings with his ability on the ball.

“He’s got to get fitter and we’ve told him that, we’ve set him challenges and deadlines and at the minute he’s done every single deadline.

“My Woking sides played against Boreham Wood and I thought he was a great player. He only started going defensive midfield when he came here.

“If we get him higher up the pitch, then he’ll score goals. If he can be a No.10 off people, I think he’s the man as he has a lot of ability. We just need to get him in the right areas, which I think we can do.”

Dowson also stated Dan Wilks will start the season as his No.1 keeper after signing a new deal.

“Wilks always wanted to be here but he wanted the right deal now he’s my No.1,” said Dowson.

“He just wanted some guarantees that he will be our No.1. We’ll get someone in to challenge him but at this time until he has a few bad games, which hopefully doesn’t happen, then he’ll be our No.1. He did well last season and is a good lad.”

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