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Chapman the next man in Fleet’s plan

Fleet haven’t had to look far for the eighth signing this summer as Kent-born midfielder Ben Chapman becomes the latest to put pen to paper at the Kuflink Stadium.

The Aylesford 21-year-old has played much of his football in Kent after leaving Crystal Palace as a youngster, going on to play for Bearsted and Gillingham where he turned professional. He spent last season with Dulwich Hamlet in the National League South and is a highly versatile player capable of slotting into numerous positions in midfield as well as right-back.

Chapman made great strides at Priestfield under then-manager Steve Lovell, rising through the youth ranks and being handed his senior debut in 2017 and going on to play six times for the Gills. He was also part of the Gillingham side that included fellow new signing Tom Hadler that played at the Fleet in a pre-season game in 2018.

After a loan spell with Faversham Town in 2018, Chapman returned to Gillingham and was offered a new contract last summer but opted instead to play regular football, joining Dulwich Hamlet.

He was a regular starter for Hamlet last season, playing 24 games and featuring in the club’s run to the FA Cup First Round.

“I’m two-footed and box-to-box,” said Chapman. “I’ve got a good gas tank and go until that final whistle… plus with the different roles I can slot into, I use that to benefit the team as a whole.

“A team that drops down, the best thing they can do is bounce straight back up and you get that feeling from the management, the staff and the players we’re bringing in.”

Read more from Ben later today – and if you would like to sponsor him or any of our new squad, please email info@eufc.co.uk to make sure you get your chosen player.

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