Last Tuesday evening saw Dartford host Chelmsford at Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park. Lewis Manor featured in our matchday programme that day. For those who missed that feature, here is the full article:
Lewis Manor arrived at Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park during the summer and, despite enduring a tough start to the season, has fought hard to establish himself in Alan Dowson’s squad.
The versatile attacker’s importance is proved by his statistics as, at the time of writing, he has notched up twelve appearances so far (eight of them in the starting eleven). He’s also contributed with four goals in all competitions, two in the league, as the Darts have become more clinical in attack recently.
Yet, despite results being a little inconsistent due to the fine margins of football, Lewis is in good spirits at the time of our discussion…
“I’m good thanks Chris, but could be better to be honest. Our results and performances haven’t been at the levels we need to win games at this level, but we’re getting there.”
Lewis’ comments have been echoed by others within the camp during recent discussions, but the results are picking up… especially at home, where the Darts have collected four consecutive victories in all competitions, three of which included clean sheets.
In-between injury setbacks, Lewis has performed well on the pitch and, as has already been mentioned, has chipped in with a few goals as well. But, it’s his work-rate and sheer determination which attracts the eye, especially considering he has had outside distractions to deal with.
“Yeah, I moved house recently, which was an absolute nightmare… HaHaHaHa! I’m also a business owner, which keeps me busy.”
However, owning his own business also has its advantages, particularly where health and fitness are concerned…
“Yeah it does have its advantages Chris. I have the time to switch things around, which allows me to balance my fitness, etc.. When I’m not at football, I’m in the gym three times a week. I also do recovery sessions and also love to sit in the sauna.”
Obviously, it’s no secret that Lewis’ former side Concord Rangers were relegated last season. Why did the player decide to sign for Dartford?
“It’s easy Chris… When a club the size of Dartford comes calling, you ask where the pen is to sign! Plus, it’s a chance to compete at the top end of the table…”
That last comment shows that Lewis, like his teammates, still have firm aspirations of getting the team into those top positions in the National League South table, despite the sluggish start. They also understand that everyone, particularly the fans, are disappointed with the way some games have gone so far.
Lewis understands as well, “It hasn’t been a great start, we know. But stick with us. Everyone is under no illusions that this isn’t good enough, but we are working hard to get the club where it deserves to be.”
Faith or Superstition?
Definitely superstition. I always put on my left matchday sock first when getting ready.
Reaching the first round of the FA Cup and drawing Lincoln City away. It was a very surreal couple of weeks.
Biggest Influence In Your Career?
Would be my grandfather, God rest his soul. He recently passed and never made it to Dartford to see me, but I know he’s with me in spirit.
Best Goal Scored?
I’ll get a fine for this, but last season I scored the goal of my life against Dartford in stoppage time to get a win (for Concord Rangers). I heard Dowson made everyone run on the Thursday after, so that’s an added bonus… HaHaHaHa!
Most Under-Rated Player You’ve Played With?
A good friend of mine, Jamie Salmon. He didn’t get the credit he deserved during his early days, but in the latter years he’s finally getting his flowers… “Football starts at 30”!
Most Under-Rated Player You’ve Played Against?
Another friend of mine, Ryan Scott. A beast of a centre half, but loves a goal as well. #RS9.
Biggest Influence In The Dressing Room?
Harvey without a doubt. Class clown, but a great lad who’s very good value.
If you were to be involved with a five-a-side tournament, and had to select the best players you have played against, which five players would you choose?
In goal, Sam Long (at Lincoln City, but on loan at Falkirk). In defence, Joe Kizzi (at Sutton United). In midfield, I’ll have Chris Maguire (at Eastleigh FC) and Calum Butcher (at Motherwell). Up front, I’ll have Neil Harris (former Gillingham manager).
By Chris Palmer