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Dartford FC striker Phil Roberts on the influence of senior players at Princes Park

Phil Roberts has hailed the influence of Dartford’s core players in keeping standards high.

The striker has eight goals in 13 starts since joining from Hemel Hempstead in December.

He said: “Dartford’s strength is that anyone coming in, even when I came in, you know what’s expected and how the team want to play.

Dartford striker Phil Roberts Picture: Andy Jones
Dartford striker Phil Roberts Picture: Andy Jones

“There are loads of experienced boys here who have been promoted and they know what it takes to do it.

“It’s easy to come in when there are other leaders in the team who know the game so well. They’re massively influential. They set the tempo for training and matchdays.

“In the warm-up, if things don’t look good you’ll hear a few of them saying ‘that’s not good enough, you need to get your mind on it’.

“At other clubs, where they’ve maybe been younger teams, there isn’t that accountability.

“But these guys have played close to 2,000 games between them for Dartford so they know how the whole place works.

“They’re good with the fans, the players and the staff so it’s a real collective.

“Dartford’s always been a big club at this level and they know what’s required.

“They won’t let you drop below that level. If you do, they’ll let you know about it very quickly.”

Roberts is relishing the run-in as Dartford look to secure a play-off place.

He said: “Every game’s big because you’re playing teams who are either fighting relegation or want to push on and get into the play-offs.

“It’s a joy to come to a place like Princes Park and play those games. The fans turn up every week, it’s always a great atmosphere and the boys are really up for it.”

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