By Jon Couch
They say in life to never go back, but if your name is Sheringham then it becomes second nature.
Back in 2001, England star Teddy refused the offer of a 12-month contract extension to stay at Manchester United and returned to former club Tottenham Hotspur, where he helped Glenn Hoddle’s side to their highest league placing in six years.
Now it’s the turn of Teddy’s son Charlie to enjoy a second wind – and he’s firing Dartford into promotion contention.
The 30-year-old striker has scored six goals in ten games since re-joining the Darts in September, helping them burst into the play-off picture after a sticky start with a run of six wins from their last seven.
Home is where the heart is they say and much-travelled Sheringham is clearly enjoying his football at the place where he feels most comfortable.
“It’s great to be back at Dartford, playing and scoring goals,” the former Millwall trainee told The NLP. “I knew some of the lads from my last spell here and that has helped me settle in.
“Princes Park is a fantastic place to play, it’s a great pitch, and the fans really get behind you.
“It’s probably a bit corny to say this is where my heart lies but Dartford is where I have been happiest and I think that’s showing in my form at the moment.”
Sheringham is not short of experience to bring to Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle’s side – and he even tasted life on foreign shores after spending a season and a half with Saif Sporting Club, who play in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka.
“Once I left Ebbsfleet [in June 2017] I was looking into it,” he added. “It was a good opportunity so I thought ‘why not’”?Sheringham told.
“It was a complete culture change but Bangladesh are very big on their football. I played in America when I was younger and now I’ve played in Bangladesh, there’s not many people who can say that.”
Sheringham has now swapped the hustle and bustle of Dhaka for a National League South promotion charge – something he knows all about after helping the Darts win promotion to the top-flight in his last spell at the club, in 2010-11, where he scored 30 goals in 46 league games.
But with the likes of big-spending Billericay and full-time sides Woking and Torquay United all in the frame, Sheringham knows it’s a tall order.
“They are three very big clubs with their spending power, and there are others up there too,” he added. “But if you can go on a little run, like we are at the moment, then it can make all the difference.
“We’ve just got to hope we can keep our form going and keep pushing the Billericays, Wokings and Torquays to the end. We’ve got a good squad and there are certainly comparisons that can be made with the squad which won promotion eight years ago.”
Sheringham, however, has felt an even heavier burden to score goals in the absence of fellow striker Andy Pugh, who broke his leg in a pre-season friendly against Colchester in July.
Pugh was expected to be sidelined for the whole season but the good news this week was that his rehabilitation in going to plan and he could even return for the run-in.
“Pughy is a good player and a great lad and everyone at the club is hoping he gets back to playing as soon as possible,” Sheringham added.
“The club is running a fundraising effort for him as it’s very difficult suffering an injury like that at semi-professional level. We are all behind him and it’s great that his rehabilitation is on track.”