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Highly-rated midfielder Luke Coulson can prove his worth again at new club Ebbsfleet United

DARYL McMahon says Ebbsfleet United new boy Luke Coulson will prove why he was tipped for a move to the Championship less than 12 months ago.

Fleet have swooped for the talented 23-year-old, right, who had scouts flocking to Eastleigh last season and then-boss Ronnie Moore slapping a large price tag on his head.

In the end, the former Manchester City, Cardiff and Oxford City midfielder, who also plays right-back, joined League Two side Barnet in January.

The move didn’t pan out as he’d hoped but McMahon is convinced he fits the bill for the National League club.

“We’re delighted to get him in,” McMahon told The NLP. “He was flying when he played us a couple of years ago for Oxford City and got a move to Eastleigh. He did well there and it looked like he might go onto bigger and better things in League One or the Championship.

“He ended up at Barnet and it hasn’t really worked out for him there. He’s had a bit of a bad time with not playing as much as he wanted to but we know he’s got the talent to bounce back.

“He’s a good footballer. His fitness is good, so is his attitude and, at 23, he’s a great age for us.

“We’ve got quite a few around that age bracket – Darren McQueen, Jack Powell, Sam Magri, Danny Mills is 25, so is Jack Payne, Bagasan Graham is 24. We feel we can work with them all moving forward.

“I just think the ones that have been playing have good experience at that age. Some have been part-time, some have been full-time. Some are a little bit broken, in a way, and they want a home again to get their head down and play again.

“It’s important we brought in the right character and the right attitude and I think we have. Then you sprinkle in a Myles Weston, who has fantastic experience and is a bit older. He’s also a very talented player.

“We already had experience with Dave Winfield, Kenny Clark, Aaron McLean, Danny Kedwell, Andy Drury – youth around them is important for the balance of the squad.”

With Stonebridge Road undergoing major redevelopment and the anticipation of what the team can achieve in their first season back in Non-League’s top tier, McMahon says there’s a feel-good feeling around the place.

“The whole club is excited,” McMahon, whose side won the National League South play-offs last year, said. “It’s been out of this level for four years now so everyone’s excited to get back into it and everyone is feeling positive.

“It’s a new level for some of the players, for me as a manager and my staff. They’ve either worked above it or below the National League.

“We’ve got the Kent derbies, which will be great, Maidstone on the first Tuesday so there’s lots to look forward to.”

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