Tuesday evening saw Dartford host Slough Town at Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park. Goalkeeper Tom Wray featured in our matchday programme that day. For those who missed that feature, here is the full article:

Young goalkeeper Tom Wray signed for the Dartford First Team after impressing manager Alan Dowson with his performances in the U23 side last season. And, having made four appearances in different competitions so far this season, he has proved to be reliable when called upon.

The competition to be the Darts’ number one goalkeeper has been a fierce one this season. When Dan Wilks picked up an injury early in the campaign, Tom Wray had to face further competition via Joe Young and Archie Mair. Both goalkeepers arrived on loan and proved to be superb additions to the squad.

However, Tom has also been a valuable backup when needed and his most recent display at Ebbsfleet United in the Kent Senior Cup was top-drawer, despite the Darts eventually losing the fixture 2-1.

Tom began playing the beautiful game when he was around the age of six, after getting into the sport via his father. And, after being inspired by Liverpool shot-stopper Alisson, soon began to realise that a career for himself might be possible… hopefully with the Darts…

“I loved it when I was playing for the U23s, there’s a great set up at the club. I aspire to be the number one here at Dartford.”

But, like the majority of the squad and football at this level, there’s no guarantee that success within the sport will occur. And, despite his young age, Tom has a career outside of the game… “I’m a full-time plumber, which takes up a lot of my time…but, I have ambitions and intend to play as many games as possible in order to help us win the league…my hopes for the future are for my football to become a full-time job.”

Being a young lad (Tom is just 19) and working full-time in an essential trade, most of this young goalkeeper’s time us spent either at work, in training, or in the gym… the latter takes up a majority of his evenings before he then relaxes at home. However, “…I do like to play golf when I’m able to.”

As his work commitments are of paramount importance to Tom, our conversation comes to a rather abrupt end. But, he does finish off with some final words for the Dartford faithful… “We really appreciate all your support. Hopefully, we can give it back to you by winning the league!”

By Chris Palmer