We look ahead to the opening game of the new campaign with a full and in-depth preview of Dover Athletic's visit to Victoria Park.
Hartlepool United v Dover Athletic
Vanarama National League
Saturday 5th August 2017, 3pm
Dover Athletic narrowly missed out on reaching the National League play-offs last season when a loss of form during the run-in cost them a place in the top five.
They recovered sufficiently to enjoy a last-day win at Barrow but it elsewhere Aldershot held their nerve and The Whites were left just short of their target.
Boss Chris Kinnear has completed major surgery on his squad since the end of last term and, of the eleven players to feature in their final pre-season friendly last week, only three played for the club during 2016/17.
Despite the huge turnaround in personnel, Athletic fans will once again be expecting to see their side competing near the top of the division and they’ll be hoping for an opening day win for the first time since 2013/14 when they arrive at The Vic.
One To Watch
Jamie Allen hit double figures for Southport last season before Dover paid an undisclosed fee to secure the signature of the 22-year-old during the summer.
Following the exit of the prolific Ricky Miller to Peterborough United, The Whites will hope that Allen’s goals can help plug the gap at the Crabble Athletic Ground this season.
Allen began his career with Fleetwood Town where he made a handful of First Team appearances and also built on his senior experience with a series of loan moves before joining Southport in 2015.
Head To Head
Pools and Dover Athletic have never played a competitive game against each other so this weekend will make a first.
Peter Wright will be on the whistle for his first-ever Pools game this weekend when he’s the referee for our opening day clash with Dover.
It’s Wright’s second season on the National League list of referees having overseen 17 games at this level during the course of last term.
Ironically, his most recent competitive appointment was also a Dover Athletic game – he presided over their 3-2 win at Barrow on the final day of last season.
Former Pools star Mark Tinkler is joining the live commentary team for full online coverage of Saturday’s game on Pools PlayerHD.
We’ll be on-air from 2.50pm on Saturday and fans will be able to listen wherever they are in the world and also interact with the commentary duo live.
Fans will be able to buy tickets on the day of the game from the Main Ticket Office on Clarence Road or from our two Matchday Ticket Offices.
There will be no tickets available on the turnstiles for Pools supporters.