James Dobson’s first day as an Ebbsfleet player just happened to coincide with everyone else’s first day of pre-season training as the club’s new-look squad gathered at the Kuflink Stadium for the opening team briefing with manager Dennis Kutrieb and his staff.
The ink on Dobson’s season-long loan deal from Dagenham & Redbridge was barely dry before he was fitted for his New Balance training wear kit alongside his teammates and then decamped for a three-hour initial workout and testing session under the watchful eye of Head of Performance Lee Taylor.
“The weather has been good to be fair in comparison to last week when it was very hot,” Dobson told the club website after a nonetheless intensive first series of fitness work. “We’ve just been testing our fitness levels but I’ve come through.It’s quite difficult in the current times at the moment to keep yourself going but the last month or so, I’ve just been trying to knowing [football’s] going to come at some point.
“Pre-seasons, they’re all different in their own way. If you ask any player, it’s not the best time, getting fit and ready for the full season! I think we’re all in the same situation as we get to know each other but I can’t fault it on the first day and obviously we’re going to get to know each other quite quickly over the next week. It’s been a good first day and a chance to meet all the boys.”
Dobson arrives in Kent having spent almost two seasons with Sutton United and Dagenham, while his experience of the National League South includes a loan period at Hemel Hempstead Town and two goal-laden spells with Slough Town. Twice their top scorer and twice a promotion winner there, Dobson’s goals haul was one of the primary motivating factors that encouraged Paul Doswell to part with a fee to take him to Sutton United in early 2019.
But there’s more to Dobson’s game as one glance at any highlights reel will show a player with a strong left foot and an eagerness to cut into the box and deliver the supply line to forwards.
“I like to think I’m hard working, put in a good ball and I take set pieces as well,” saiad Dobson. “I don’t want to put myself under too much pressure with goals but I can contribute there as well.
“When I knew that there was interest from Ebbsfleet, from my point of view I was willing to have that chat and I’m happy to agree terms, come in on loan for the season and now I can’t wait to get started.”