After failing to gain promotion to the National League the Dartford Management team have left the club.
A statement on the Club website says,
“It is with a heavy heart, that we have to announce that Tony Burman, Paul Sawyer and Steve Mosely, are stepping down as our management team.
Tony has been at the helm as manager for the last 14 years, plus his previous spells between 1993-1996 and as caretaker in 2001. Paul Sawyer, in addition to the 2 years as a player at Watling Street, has been with the club since 1994 as a player, coach and assistant manager. Steve Mosely as a player at Watling Street and as a coach since 2007.
In total Tony played in a total of 535 games for Dartford, scoring 159 goals. He has been involved as our manager in 880 games. A total of 1415 games – a remarkable record.
Paul Sawyer played in 324 games, scoring 22 goals. As coach and assistant manager, he oversaw 935 games. In total 1259 games – again, an incredible career with the club.
Steve Mosely played a total of 89 games at Watling Street, scoring 11 goals and has been involved as part of the management team for over 500 games since re-joining the club in 2007.
“I feel the time is right for us as a management team, to step aside and allow fresh blood to come in and take forward this great club. I would like to thank my fellow directors, the supporters and volunteers, plus the many players I have managed over the years, for their support and commitment. The last 10 years, here at Princes Park, have been one of the most successful periods in the club’s history and I have been immensely proud of our achievements. The winning of the Isthmian League, Division One (North) and Premier Division, plus the Conference South Promotion Final and 2 Kent Senior Cup Finals, have all been achieved in this period – success indeed”
We now start the process of looking for a new management team and will announce that in due course.
In the meantime, I think you will agree, that we must all pass on our gratitude and immense thanks to Tony, in particular, but also Paul and Steve, for the their incredible part in this period of the club’s history.”
Speaking a few days later, Burman reflected on his time at Princes Park,
“It’s been a strange week and a sad week but it happens and you have to move on.
“It was going to happen one day and I felt it was the right time to let someone else take the helm.
“I had been considering things, whether we were going to go up or stay in the same league.
“I did want to go up and help change the club from part-time to semi-professional with three mornings and move the club in that direction.
“It’s something we’ve thought about for a while, especially if we did move into the top league. It was a challenge for me to make that happen and to also change the way the club was working.
“I’m sure it will happen for us one day. That’s what we’ve got to strive to do.”
Dartford went into the play-offs having missed out on the National League South title on goal-difference.
Victory at Bognor Regis on the final day was sending them up as champions until a last-minute winner for Havant & Waterlooville in their game changed everything.
“It was difficult because of what happened at Bognor,” Burman said. “It was a strange feeling because we’d won the game and it was like we’d been relegated.
“The same feeling was there against Braintree. We needed to score a goal and I felt we had enough chances in the first half to do that.
“In the second half, Braintree played well enough to win the game 1-0 and it was a strange feeling afterwards. It was like we’d been relegated and it wasn’t very nice to be fair.
“But the players gave us everything. They’d done so well and I know you can say we dropped points but the stats are showing favourable things. A lot of it was better than last year.
“All in all, if you look at it, it was an excellent season with the FA Cup run and we got another group of players together and challenged for the title. That’s what we were asked to do and I don’t think anyone could say we didn’t do that all through the season.
“It was difficult to take but what I’m proud of is that we all gave our all.
“The players and staff gave 100% and it wasn’t through a lack of effort that we didn’t quite make it.”
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