Sunday 25 March 2012

TWINTERVIEW: Elliot Bradbrook

Dartford Football Club is thriving. Promoted twice in the last four seasons, the north Kent outfit are now straining to get out of Conference South in only their second season at that level. The Darts lifted the Kent Senior Cup at the impressive Princes Park last term and they remain on course to defend the trophy after beating Charlton to book their place in the 2012 final.

On and off the field, the club looks ready to mount - and sustain - a charge towards the Football League. The man leading them towards the Promised Land is manager Tony Burman, while captain Elliot Bradbrook is his on-field lieutenant.

The Darts skipper cuts an experienced figure on the pitch but in the Twittersphere, he's a relative novice. We struck up a twinterview shortly after Bradbrook had found the back of the net in last week's crushing victory over promotion rivals Sutton United. By their very nature, twinterviews elicit more thoughtful answers than a face-to-face scenario, as illustrated by the chat which unfolded below.

You've just smashed Sutton 6-1. What's the changing-room like immediately after a game like that?

Everyone was delighted with the performance and result. It was definitely one of our best performances of the season against a good side.

As skipper, do you say much before and after the game or do you leave that to Tony?

There are a few in the changing-room that could easily be captain, so the responsibility is shared out. We all do our bit for each other.

What was your first pair of boots?

Haha I remember having a proper old school pair of black and white Puma Kings when I first started playing.

Solid. Who are your best friends in football?

I have a lot of friends back in America that are playing professionally out there at the moment from when I was at uni. But over here, you've got the likes of Lee Burns and Ryan Hayes who have been with me at Dartford for a few years now, plus a few of the newer lads.

By my calculations you're just ahead of Tom in this season's Bradbrook v Bradbrook goal race. Is there much brotherly banter flying around?

Haha I give him a little reminder every now and then!! But to be fair he has not been playing as much as I have, and I am lucky to be playing in one of the best teams around at the moment. Tom hasn't been getting games at Margate, which I can't understand as he is one of the best strikers in that league and scores goals whenever he does play.

Dartford are certainly a club going places. What's it like to be part of that, and what's the biggest factor behind it?

It's a big honour to be a part of it. The club has got some great fans that have kept the club alive over the years so it's great to see their hard work paying off. It's our responsibility on the pitch to make sure this club pushes on to becoming a football league club as that is the ultimate goal. I just want to do my bit in making that happen. There are good years ahead at Dartford and I'm lucky to be there.

Do you think you can reach the Football League while you're a Darts player?

I think the only realistic way to get into the Football League (and out of the Conference) is by going full-time. That is not really an option for me, so I'm just focused on helping this club get promoted to the Conference National. Hopefully this year!! I will be here for as long as the management want me. I'm sure this club will go full-time at some point so I would like to be here until that happens.

How hot do you have your chicken at Nando's?

Good question. Lemon and herb, but medium if I'm feeling adventurous.

Thanks! Who's going to win the Premier League, the Champions League and Euro 2012?

No probs. In that order - Man U, Barcelona, Spain.

Who's the changing-room DJ at Dartford and what music gets played before kick-off?

Tom Bonner is the DJ.... A mix of old school garage, house and hip hop... He was awful but has got better.

What's the best goal you've scored? Talk us through it.

My favourite goal was a few years ago in America. It was the first game of the season and I had been injured for the past six months. The ball came out to me on the edge of the box and I smashed it top corner. Probably not my 'best' but definitely my favourite.

Tell us something we wouldn't know about the gaffer.

What you wouldn't know about Tony - the fact that he made us sit through a 90-minute video of him playing for Charlton in the 1970s just so he could show off because he played against George Best. Big head!!

Some team-mate questions. Who's the joker, who's the hard man and who's the biggest moaner?

We have quite a few jokers - Lee Burns and Tom Champion are hilarious. Hard man - I will go for Lee Noble. He's about 4 foot tall but puts it about a bit and loves a tackle. Danny Harris is the biggest moaner by an absolute mile.

Finally, you've got one tweet to tell the world about Dartford FC. Go...

DFC - best non-league club in the country!!!

You can follow @EBradbrook10 on Twitter

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