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Dartford striker Alfie Pavey on being left out of the team by manager Tony Burman

By Matthew Panting

Leading scorer Alfie Pavey respects Dartford manager Tony Burman’s decision to leave him out of the team – even if he thinks he should be playing.

Pavey scored twice after coming off the bench against Welling on New Year’s Day to take his season’s tally to 18.

Burman has been outspoken about leaving Pavey out of his starting line-up in recent weeks, after the 21-year-old striker was hospitalised with a chest infection.

Dartford forward Alfie Pavey. Picture: Andy Payton
Dartford forward Alfie Pavey. Picture: Andy Payton

“I went into hospital, I was fine a week later and then I was sitting on the bench,” said Pavey.

“I wasn’t happy, no striker is going to be happy as a top goalscorer to be sitting on the bench. I had a chat with the manager and that was that.

“Like he said last week, he picks the team, he doesn’t care who he upsets, I’m just coming on and doing my thing.

“I’ve always struggled with my asthma, I’ve had it for 21 years. So whether I come on the pitch and need it (an inhaler) within 10 seconds or not, I’ve got to take it. It’s just one of those things.”

Former Millwall striker Pavey’s goals could attract interest from Football League clubs now that the transfer window has reopened this month.

But his only focus is gaining promotion with Dartford – after winning back his place in the side.

“I’m grateful to Tony for bringing me back to the club. He didn’t have to,” said Pavey.

“Hopefully, I’m repaying him by doing what I’m doing now and getting on with my football.

“He’s the manager, he picks the team, so as long as I’m giving him a headache every week and my name is on or nearly on that teamsheet, then I don’t care.

“I’m excited to see where it takes me. I’ve always said I want to get back into the Football League but at the moment my priority is here. I want to get back into the team and score goals.

“I want to get promoted. I’ve never been promoted so to do that would be good. There’s 18 games left to go so it’s a long season and we’ve got to keep winning.”

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