Our summer series taking a look at our opponents for next season moves on as we take a trip down to Kent.
Nickname: The Whites
Who’s in charge?
Chris Kinnear has been in charge of Dover Athletic since 2013 and is expecting to stay on as boss for the new season despite missing out on the play-offs in agonising fashion last term.
It’s his second spell in the hotseat at The Crabble Athletic Ground, having previously been at the helm between 1985 and 1995.
He was a popular choice when The Whites turned to him to replace Nicky Forster and it proved an inspired move when he guided them to promotion from Conference South in his first full season in 2013/14.
How did they get on last season?
Dover Athletic suffered the agony of missing out on a play-off place as a dramatic loss of form in the closing weeks saw them slip down to sixth in the National League table.
The Whites looked well on course for a top five finish after sweeping Southport aside 3-0 on Good Friday but they were then beaten by rivals Aldershot Town on Easter Monday and then lost again at home to Torquay United the following weekend.
An impressive last day win at Barrow was enough to see them stay above the Cumbrians in the table but Aldershot’s win over Braintree ended Dover’s hopes of reaching the play-offs.
When did we last meet?
Dover Athletic is another of the clubs in the National League whom Pools have never before played in their history so this season will represent the very first meeting.
Where do they play?
The Crabble Athletic Ground has been home to various Dover teams over the years and has been home to Dover Athletic since their inception in 1983. It was built in 1931 and has a capacity of 5,745.
When do we play them?
The National League fixtures are due to be released at 1pm on Wednesday 5th July.
Mark Carruthers of NonLeagueDaily.com gives us his insight on Dover’s prospects for the new season…
“Dover have become regular challengers for the National League play-offs in the few years.
“Fired by goals from the likes of the prolific Ricky Miller, the Whites have claimed eighth, fifth and sixth place finishes since securing promotion into non-league’s top flight in 2014.
“Now they face a big challenge and that is replacing the National League’s Player of the Year and last season’s top goalscorer after Miller left the club to join League One outfit Peterborough United.
“Manager Chris Kinnear moved quickly to secure the services of Chester forward Kane Richards and Southport’s Jamie Allen as he attempts to make up for the loss of forty-two goal Miller.
“Gateshead’s Mitch Brundle also moved to the club and he could be a key player for the Whites this season. I always felt he maybe didn’t get as much game time as he deserved with Gateshead so will be keen to make up for lost time with his new club.
“You feel there is still a lot more to come from Kinnear this summer, as he looks to replace a number of key players ahead of the new campaign.
“If he can work his magic in the transfer market then you wouldn’t rule out yet another play-off challenge.
“If not, without the goals of Miller, then a mid-table finish could be in line for the Whites, although a trip to their Crabble Ground will still prove a tough test for clubs this season.”