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Manager Alan Dowson says Dartford board is the best he has worked with after agreeing new two-year contract

Dartford manager Alan Dowson has praised the club’s hierarchy after extending his stay at Princes Park.

Dowson has agreed a new two-year deal, having initially joined last summer on a similar-length contract.

Alan Dowson says it’s a pleasure working with the board at Dartford. Picture: Keith Gillard
Alan Dowson says it’s a pleasure working with the board at Dartford. Picture: Keith Gillard

The former Woking and Hampton boss is relishing the chance to go again in National League South next season.

“Dartford is a great club, it’s unbelievably well run,” said Dowson. “I love the chairman, Steve Irving, and think the world of him, and Tony Burman and the directors as well.

“They’re the best I’ve worked with, they’re really good people and they care about their club.

“They won’t go down the route of getting the club into debt and having no club which others have done in our league, they run it sensibly where we can compete but we’re not risking our club’s future. I respect that and I quite like it.

“It’s quite a challenge for me because I’ll be changing a few things and then can I get it right? I’d rather do that than go to a club with sacks of money and spend it on players who aren’t worth it.

“It’s a great challenge for me and I always like that kind of challenge. It’s a very well-run club by good people who are in charge and the club are lucky to have them. People like me come along two a penny but I’ve got to praise them here, with how they’ve been with me.

“They’ve got a wonderful chairman and with (director of football) Tony Burman there as well it’s a wonderful club, it really is.”

Understandably, both Irving and Dowson cut dejected figures after the play-off Semi-Final defeat to St Albans on penalties but it was Burman that raised the manager’s spirits.

“I think we both picked each other up,” said Dowson on his relationship with Irving. “We’re both passionate about the club so we were both very down.

“Tony was great, he just sent me a message, saying I know you’re disappointed but I’m ready to press the green button when you are. He was brilliant. He comes in, gives you time and tells you that you’re the right man for the job.

“With Steve, I’ll never forget the FA Cup game when I was on a downer and he said it doesn’t matter, you’re the man for the job for the next couple of years. They’ve always had a big belief in me and if you’ve got the belief of the board upstairs in what you’re doing then it gives you more belief as well.

“I believe in how they run the club and do things, yes, we’re not the biggest payers but I look at a lot of clubs who are up and down. This club has stability which not many have got. I think it’s a pretty good fit, them and me.”

Dowson tried to get away from Dartford penalty shoot-out defeat by taking in the National League play-off Final at Wembley last weekend. But that move quickly backfired on him!

“I haven’t watched it back and I thought I’d clear my mind by going to Wembley and watch Notts County versus Chesterfield - and then that game went to penalties as well!” said Dowson.

“The truth is I won’t watch it back, what’s the point? I know we had chances on the day to win it, Christian Jolley (assistant manager) has watched it and told me about it but it’s history now and we’ve got to move forward.

“I couldn’t get my mojo and I couldn’t get out of bed but then you get people like Tony saying have as much time as you want and that’s got me going.

“Along with Steve and the directors, they’ve all been fantastic. I talked to them on Monday night and they think I’m the one for the future to take the club on.”

Dowson also moved to clarify his comments immediately after the St Albans exit when he questioned whether he could get Dartford back into the top seven again next season.

“If I didn’t think I could do it then I wouldn’t be here,” he insisted. “I was so disappointed, it was a knee-jerk reaction.

“I always wear my heart on my sleeve. It will be a tough league but I do believe we can get in the top seven.”

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