The July 2023 issue of Dartford Living Magazine has been out for a while now. If you missed it, or are unable to get a copy, here is the latest instalment of Walking With The Darts:

Hello again, welcome to another edition of Walking With The Darts, a monthly update on all things related to Dartford FC, courtesy of Dartford Living Magazine.

As summer is well and truly upon us, with the sunshine beating down and temperatures reaching the upper 20°c’s, some of us are on our holidays… or at least getting ready to travel somewhere. Meanwhile, work behind the scenes continues at Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park, as we prepare for the new season.

Head Groundsman, Jay Berkhauer, hasn’t stopped working, as he’s been replacing and preparing the pitch for another long campaign. And, I can honestly say that the pitch is already looking amazing, despite the hot temperatures its had to endure recently.

Meanwhile, Alan Dowson and the board have been extremely busy rebuilding the First Team squad, with many players being signed for the season. At the time of writing, the number of players has reached seventeen, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.

Young goalkeeper Tom Wray has re-signed for another year, and he’s joined by experienced former Concord Rangers shot-stopper Mitch Beeney. The duo have been joined by Maxwell Statham, Alex Wall, Luke Allen, and Luke Coulson. The quartet join those I mentioned in last months’ article in remaining at the club for another year.

Regular readers will remember that I wrote about striker Harvey Bradbury signing for the Darts last month. He has been joined by former Concord Rangers striker Lewis Manor, versatile defender/midfielder Paul Rooney (from Havant & Waterlooville), and midfielder Tyrell Miller-Rodney (also from Havant & Waterlooville).

And finally, young Academy players George Whitefield, Jayden Boulton, and Ollie Box have signed their first ever First Team contracts! The duo provide further proof of the talent pool within the Dartford Academy, as well as Alan Dowson’s promise that, “If they’re good enough, they’ll definitely get an opportunity…”.

With a nice blend of youth and experience, the season ahead promises to be an interesting one indeed. However, the work certainly isn’t finished, as more additions to the squad are expected in the coming weeks.

As far as pre-season preparations are concerned, July is looking like its going to be a busy period both off and on the pitch. EFL outfits Charlton and Gillingham visit Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park (8th and 22nd of July respectively), while the Darts travel to Dunston FC (14th), Margate (18th), Bromley (25th), Phoenix Sports (28th), Billericay Town (29th), and Leatherhead FC on the 1st of August. Please check the club’s official website and social media platforms for further information and kick-off times.

All has gone quiet for Dartford FC Women, as their season has come to a close. However, Connor Dymond has made one addition to his coaching staff, with the promotion of coach Dan Edwards from the DFC Women’s Development Team. The experienced coach/manager joins Connor and Martin McCarthy’s coaching staff and had this to say upon his appointment… “After being involved with the Development Team for the second half of last season, I am really honoured for the opportunity given to me by Connor and Martin. I am also extremely excited to see what this season will bring for the Development Team and the club. I also want to thank Rhys for his help and support since I came in to the team.”

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in becoming a footballer, Dartford FC Women are holding an open training session for DFC Women and the Development Team on the 5th of July. The session will take place on the 3G pitch, if interested, please see the Dartford FC Women’s social media platforms for more information.

And finally, the Dartford FC Community Funday which was held on Sunday the 11th of June was a great success! So, thank you to everyone who braved the excessive heat and attended the event.

As always, thank you for your continued support and thanks for reading.

By Chris Palmer