Category: Academy News


Ryan Kingsford scored six times as the Dover Academy won the National League Alliance Division B title in style.

Unbeaten in the league this season, Mike Sandmann’s side beat Ebbsleet Academy 8-0 to be crowned champions with three games to spare.

Boss Sandmann was delighted to see his side win the title for a second consecutive season.

”I couldn’t be more proud of the players,” he said.

“As a group they have worked hard all season to enjoy moments like today.

“To win the league is an achievement, but to do so unbeaten and with three games remaining is credit to them and their work ethic.  Year on year we are producing players and successful teams in the Academy, so the future is certainly bright for Dover Athletic.

“Some have already had a taste of first team football and I hope they continue to develop and progress into the first team.

“It’s no surprise players are willing to travel all over Kent and South London to be part of the Academy.

“The progression from the start of the season to now is incredible, but all credit goes to the players and their desire to learn and develop.”


Over seven million viewers tuned in to watch the Dover Academy side on Tuesday as they took on the Indonesia Under 17 National side in Faversham.

Indonesia, currently on on a UK tour and managed by former Premier League duo Dennis Wise and Des Walker, took on Athletic’s youngsters after their scheduled match at Charlton Athletic was cancelled at the last minute.

The South-East Asian side had already beaten both Blackburn and QPR Academy sides 4-1 during their time in Britain, but were unable to get the better of Dover as Mike Sandmann’s team won 3-2 thanks to goals from Jamie Chamberlain, Bebe Paldon and Ryan Kingsford.

You can view highlights of the match, streamed live to to Indonesia and with commentary from Simon Brotherton and Alan Smith, below.


Whites’s academy side were beaten 4-2 by a strong Maidstone United on Tuesday evening at the Gallagher Stadium.

With Andy Hessenthaler overseeing his first training session with the first team squad that same evening since being announced as Dover’s new boss, Mike Sandmann’s academy side represented Athletic in the second round of the Kent Reliance Senior Cup.

The home side were two goals ahead thanks to strikes from Ollie Muldoon and Olu Durojaiye, with the lead further extended by George McLennan and substitute Blair Turgott following the restart.

However Sandmann’s boys, made up of players aged 16-18, hit back twice late on thanks to a Harrison Kempston penalty and Joshua Spencer’s scrambled effort.

And Dover’ academy manager was full of praise for his young team in spite of their defeat.

”That is the best they have played this season by some distance.”  Said Sandmann afterwards.

”I only found out Saturday my lads would be playing in the Kent Cup instead of the first team, but they acquitted themselves ever so well against professional players.

”As you can imagine Maidstone dominated possession, but the boys kept their discipline and shape fantasticaly well, which was always a big challenge as we only have one player over six-feet tall in the side!”

And Mike believes the academy’s Kent Cup experience will only benefit his young charges in the future.

“This is a new group and it takes time to gel, but they showed how well they can play.  They have set the bar very high for themselves and if they can maintain that level of performance, the future is very bright for Dover.”


Due to our current management situation, we will be represented by our Academy side in the second round of the Kent Senior Cup at Maidstone United on Tuesday night.

None of our senior squad will feature in the tie at the Gallagher Stadium.

The game kicks-off at 7.45pm.

FA Cup action at Crabble

Our Academy will start their FA Youth Cup campaign with a second round qualifying tie against Lewes at Crabble next Tuesday (October 2nd).

There are a total of 76 ties at this stage of the competition, featuring clubs who successfully progressed from the preliminary and first round qualifying stages and 23 clubs who were exempt until this stage.

The game kicks-off at 7pm and admission is £6 with children under 11 free.


‘The future of Dover Athletic is bright’, according to Youth Secretary and Club Welfare Officer John Barrett after Whites’ Under 18’s, 16’s and 13’s all won their respective divisions in the Kent Youth Leagues.

‘A couple of seasons ago, myself and Roger Knight set out to raise the standards of our youth teams with a three-year plan’, revealed an elated John.  ‘So to achieve what we have this campaign puts us a year ahead of schedule.’

‘We decided to develop our coaches and we now have three staff just finishing their UEFA B badges and two who are starting the same qualification shortly.’

‘We now hope our success will see more youngsters wanting to represent Dover youth sides and though we realise it’s a big jump to where the first team currently is and where it wants to be in the near future, we believe we have created a decent stepping stone for these lads.’

To see how all Athletic’s youth sides finished, visit


Coach Mike Sandmann’s Academy completed a stunning treble this season.

The talented youngsters won the National Youth Alliance, Kent Academies League and the Kent Academies Cup.

To add to this fantastic achievement, Sandmann’s players only lost one game in their respective league campaigns.

He said: “I am extremely proud of what the Academy has achieved this season but it was only what their hard work and willingness to learn and improve deserves.

“As well as winning competitions, we have players going to America, professional clubs are showing interest in them and players have progressed into first teams, which is the real success.

“The development from the group of players has been incredible, but once again the players have enabled this to happen.

“We have a good group of young players coming through the Academy system year on year and I hope we can get more into our first team and continue their progression.

“The first team’s success over recent years has made the gap between Academy Football and first team even bigger but I believe we can continue to work hard in the Academy to bridge that and produce more first team players for Dover Athletic.”


Dover Academy’s Matty Robinson is heading to America.

The 17 year-old has accepted a four-year, full scholarship to Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina.

Robinson, who played for Chris Kinnear’s side in the Kent Senior Cup defeat to Folkestone at Crabble in December, will start his scholarship in September.

Not surprisingly, coach Mike Sandmann said everyone at the Academy and Abbey School is extremely proud of Robinson’s move.

He said: “Matty has been offered a fantastic opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Academy graduate Joshua Donnelly, who is still in America finishing his degree whilst playing football full time.

“To get a full scholarship offer is fantastic, but is huge credit to him and he is a role model for anyone coming into the Academy.

“He has had to overcome a lot of hurdles during his time and the character he has shown to overcome this to achieve is unbelievable.

“Matty, who can play as a No.10 or as a forward, has fantastic ability in which has been developed during his two-years with us and has scored some fantastic goals.

“We are all extremely proud of what Matty has done already and will go on to achieve and know he will be a success out in America.”


The Dover Athletic Academy initial trial for the 2018/19 intake will be held at The Abbey School in London Road, Faversham on Wednesday 14th February at 11am.

  • The Football Academy represents Dover Athletic FC in the National Youth League, the highest league outside professional status.
  • Coaching from UEFA ‘A’ licensed coaches
  • Train everyday
  • Academy players study a range of courses alongside their football commitments
  • Excellent progression routes
  • Wide range of A Level, BTEC or International Bacclaureate courses
  • Opportunity to take additional Coaching and Fitness Instructor courses
  • Study 3 A levels/ BTEC’s or GCSE subjects depending on your GCSE results
  • Excellent academic results
  • Travel grants available to all students living outside Faversham.

What do you need to know about the trial:

  • Registration at 10.30am for an 11am start.
  • Finish approximately 2pm.
  • Bring full training kit including shin pads.
  • It will be outside on our 3G pitch (suitable for football boots).
  • Trials will consist of a variety of matches.
  • There will be shower and changing room facilities available for you to use.
  • Parents/Carers are welcome to stay and watch

If you are interested in attending the trials please email or call the school on 01795 532633