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Dartford manager Steve King says players will stay in his team if they deserve to be there

Dartford’s big guns might have to bide their time before getting back into manager Steve King’s side.

The Darts boss has told his squad that selection will be on merit and there is no guarantee his injured players will walk back into the starting line-up.

Dartford manager Steve King. Picture: Keith Gillard
Dartford manager Steve King. Picture: Keith Gillard

The likes of Noor Husin, Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong, Jack Barham and Craig Braham-Barrett have all been sidelined in recent weeks while keeper Craig King and Jazzi Burnum-Bobb have both been ruled out by suspension.

“People will be in the team who deserve to be there,” stressed King. “Even if the ‘top’ players are back, if other people have done well then they’ll stay in the team.

“You know what you are playing for then. There’s no point people coming in and playing well if they don’t stay in the team, that’s not fair.

“I’ve always tried to show fairness, if you’ve had a good performance then you deserve to stay in the side, whoever it is trying to come back in. But if we think it’s right to come back for that particular game then we would do that.”

Injuries to Gavin McCallum and Jordan Wynter mean that the full-backs are likely to return but new keeper Dan Wilks has done himself no harm with two solid displays.

Wilks has worked with the Darts boss before and will compete alongside Craig King for the number one jersey with loan keeper Ethan Wady back at Chelsea.

“Dan has done well in both games for me,” said the Dartford manager. “I worked with him at Whitehawk and Welling. Ethan went back to Chelsea, they recalled him, and it left a space open because Craig King was suspended so I had to bring Wilksy in.

“It’s a straight fight between him and Craig King to keep that shirt, at the moment Dan’s got it because Craig hasn’t played, and he hasn’t let anyone down.

“He is quite calm and collective when the ball goes back to him, he has good feet, his distribution is good. I’ve worked with him for three years so I know what I’m getting.

“He is a steady keeper for this level so now we’ve got two good keepers for this level.”

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