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Alan Dowson ahead of Dartford friendly

A chat with Dartford Manager, Alan Dowson, prior to Friday's pre-season friendly.

Dartford boss and Gateshead-born Alan Dowson brings his squad on the long trip to Tyneside on Friday ahead of our pre-season friendly against National League South opposition.

Dowson has been kind enough to share some words and answer some questions giving an insight into his team's pre-season preparations and what they are expecting ahead of the trip up North.

"The preparations seem to be going okay. After finishing second in the table [last season], it was disappointing losing our captain, Tom Bonner, his centre-half partner Connor Essam, and also Sam Carruthers. So it's been a bit of a rebuilding job this season to be honest." Dowson said.

Dowson has also commented ahead of the trip on why he wanted this particular pre-season game.

"It's a long trip, but I think it's a good trip for bonding. I have brought teams up here before with Kingstonian, Hampton and Woking, so it's nice to  bring a different team up as well. I know Dunston is a very well-run club and I am expecting a big test for us.

"I got brought up at Redheugh Boys Club from the age of 7-years-old where I played in the same team as Billy Irwin. I know what Billy has done for the club and he is a legend there. I was actually at Wembley when Dunston won the FA Vase, so it's lovely to come back and bring a team to my roots." Dowson added.

The Dartford boss has also highlighted his and his squad plan's in the North East after our pre-season friendly on the Friday night.

"One of the reasons we changed the game to the Friday night was because Gateshead are playing Newcastle on the Saturday, so we all hope to go to the game on Saturday. Afterwards for the lads, it will be a night-out in Newcastle. For me and the staff, it will be a night-out in Low Fell."

Finally, Dowson has discussed his aims for the upcoming season ahead of his second season in charge of The Darts.

"It's going to be a tough league this year with the likes of Torquay and Yeovil coming into it and a lot of people down our way are splashing the cash, but I have always had the belief that you're in it, to win it.

"So what is the point in going into the season if you don't believe that? The main aim is to go one better than we did last year and gain promotion." Dowson said.

Tickets will be available on the gate as we welcome Dartford to the UTS Stadium. Adults (£6), Concessions (£4) Under 16’s (£2).

We also welcome the legendary former-Sky Sports Premier League commentator Martin Tyler who will be acting as Assistant Manager to Dartford boss, Alan Dowson.

We also welcome an unnamed Newcastle United legend as a guest to the game as well!

Kick-off is at 7:30pm.

By Callum Pattison

Published Wednesday 12th July 2023