Pre-season can be one of the busiest times of year for a football club.
At Dover weíve already heard of the work taking place behind the scenes to ensure that this season will be one of the best yet. Now we can turn our attention to the team.
Nicky Forster spoke to doverathletic.com this week, bringing us up to speed on the latest news from the dressing room.
There has been an influx of new faces at Crabble over the summer and the club's management team have worked hard to bring in some quality talent in order to push for promotion.
Nicky said: "We have worked hard to get the players in that we wanted, there were a few like Calum Willock that took a little longer to complete but all in all Iím happy with where we are now."
Having made personnel changes in every area of the field Nicky also feels that he has a greater sense of ownership with this Dover side.
How well a team gels can often determine how well the season pans out because the tightest dressing rooms are often the most successful.Nicky Forster
"The challenge for me and my assistant Steve last season was that we felt that we were playing with the hand that had been dealt to us. This season there is no doubt that this is our team and Iíll be judged on that."
One unprecedented move that Nicky employed to help bolster the playing squad was an open trial which took place on the 1st July. The club received over 100 applications from hopefuls eager to play at Crabble. This huge response had to be carefully whittled down to just 24 players who were then invited to a gruelling trial day at Crabble.
Thinking back to the day Nicky said: "We all thought it was a success; the general standard of play was very good and there certainly are a couple from the day that weíve got our eye on. We should see them again during pre-season."
Of course one of the other notable additions to the team was Forster himself. Adding to his 700 career appearances he said: "In an ideal world if weíre top of the league all season and I didnít have to kick a ball that would be great but if Iím needed and playing well enough why shouldnít I play?"
Forster made his Dover debut last Saturday in the 6-1 victory over Deal Town and managed to find the net twice. Looking at the game as a whole Nicky said: "At this stage itís about blowing out the cobwebs, getting a feel for the ball and starting to get yourself prepared for the start of the long season ahead; all of which I think we managed to do fairly well."
The game also provided Nicky with a first glance at his summer signings who importantly seemed to settle into the squad nicely.
New signing Calum Willock vs Deal
He highlighted this as an key stepping stone to creating a winning team: "It was positive to see everyone getting on well, just how well they gel as a team may determine how well this season pans out because the tightest dressing rooms are often the most successful."
On the day the Whites' numbers were also bolstered by six members of the Academy squad and a trialist who all managed to impress the boss.
Academy member David Pilcher was the only player to appear in both halves and provided an excellent ball into the box for Willock to score, while trialist Jamie Smith, who has previously been at Brighton and Leyton Orient, looked an exciting prospect on the wing.
Whites now have six pre-season friendlies remaining, starting with a Brighton & Hove Albion XI on Saturday at Crabble.