Category: Community News

Community News



Thinking of ideas to keep your children active in the Easter holidays?

Why not book them on a Happy Feet Soccer School coaching camp at Crabble.

Two camps have been organised and bookings are subject to availability and places are only guaranteed upon receipt of full payment – so get in quick!

The camps, which will cater for ages from five to 16, will run from 10am – 3pm on the following dates:

Wednesday 4th April 2018 and Wednesday 11th April 2018

The price is £15 per child, per day.

Application forms are available in the club office at Crabble or here

Completed forms should be sent back via one of the following methods:

  • Email to
  • Post to Vikki Pawley, Dover Athletic Football Club, Crabble Athletic Ground, Lewisham Road, River, Dover, Kent CT17 0JB but please DO NOT send cash in the post. 
  • In person to the club office at Crabble – Office opening times are Monday to Friday 9am – 4pm.
  • To one of our community staff at the Saturday morning Happy Feet football sessions.

You will be notified by email or text message once your booking is successful.

Payments by debit or credit card will have a charge of 50p.

Information for parents

Children should arrive no earlier than 9.50am for registration on the day and they will need to bring a packed lunch and drinks.

Shin pads must be worn at all times.

Spare/warm clothing is advised should we have bad weather as well as sun cream and a hat should the weather be sunny.

There will be a ‘tuck shop’ available at lunch time.



I can announce that I have now submitted our full application for membership to the English Football League (EFL) as I believe we now meet all of the required criteria and await their response in the near future.

The position we are in is the culmination of 12 years hard work and major investment into our Crabble stadium.

In the last two years you have seen a new Family Stand, containing dressing rooms and official’s facilities that fully meet requirements, as well as the safety control room, the installation of over 50 cameras, renewal of our public address system and the inclusion of our disabled viewing platform with lift.

This was followed by new floodlights to provide the LUX values required by the EFL and a new executive lounge with a new entrance behind the Centre Spot to provide much needed VIP facilities.

The latest addition, finished only last week, are new safety barriers required because if promoted we will not be able to use the flat standing areas behind the goals.

The barriers were required to increase capacity to the terraced areas in order to meet minimum membership requirements for the EFL.

With the exception of the grant for the family stand, these improvements have been largely financed by myself and my wife Sally with a little help from sponsors, but could not have been achieved without a great deal of practical help from,  in particular, Neil Cook and John Heath – my sincere thanks to them.

I would also like to thank our Consultant Engineer Simon Oakley and Mark Duly from Kent Fire and Rescue for their assistance.

It has also been a challenge to ensure we have medical staff with the required qualifications and we welcome back to the Club Paul Wilson as head Physiotherapist.

Paul is eminently qualified and comes to us having obtained Football League experience.

We now have a fantastic team of three Doctors led by Dr Cox and my thanks go to him Dr Gregory and Dr Cardwell for their support.

I also welcome Chris Fudge who is now assisting us in the requirement for a trained Paramedic.

Many of these requirements will no doubt be a surprise to the majority of supporters but the rules for membership are stringent and are rigorously enforced.

Without compliance we would not be eligible for the play-offs, let alone promotion.

Of course we are only in this position because of the fantastic exploits of our team on the pitch and the Management Staff.

They deserve many accolades and these will be forthcoming as the business end of the season progresses.

But most of all they deserve the support of the Town, so please get your friends up to Crabble to roar the Team over the line.

It is a great pity that we now read that Chester FC are reporting financial difficulties and that they join Hartlepool United in facing an uncertain future.

It is a mystery to me how a club receiving an £800,000  plus parachute payment can be in this position, but there we are.

It is important to remind supporters of the financial reality of running Clubs at this level particularly when competing with the Clubs with larger bankrolls.

In our case, we do not have the largest budget, nor do we have the smallest, but we have moved into a phase where some players are full-time and require 52-week contracts.

We have to keep, our feet on the ground and not let the “red mist” descend or we will soon be in the same position as the Clubs mentioned above.

So please, when discussing which player we should sign this week or next week try and consider where the money is coming from.

There is no point having players to win things if the facilities mean that you can’t be promoted, several Clubs will experience that pain this year.

To put into context the cost of watching football at our level and Dover Athletic in particular, an average gate receipt after deducting V.A.T. at 20% and match day costs will pay approximately half of that week’s wages, so all the other running costs plus a great deal of the wage bill rely on sponsorship and frankly my support.

We want success and I know our supporters want success, but without income and people coming through the gates on a match day that task requires a massive leap of faith on my part.

I ask everyone to try and do their bit you can all make a big difference if you can get just one person to join you on match days.

Thanks for reading and best wishes to you all.



We will host our third Community Day of the season today.

We’ve given 50 tickets to every school in the Dover district to allow students to attend the day and savour the Crabble experience during the National League clash with Guiseley.

The game kicks-off at 3pm but Community Day sees the turnstiles open at noon.

There will be goody bags, flags and balloons for the children.

We look forward to welcoming you all to Crabble.



It’s the second Community Day of the season at Crabble on Saturday and Whites will be aiming to win once again in front of a bumper crowd.

The first such day saw 2,795 fans see Ryan Bird head home a late winner against Solihull Moors back in September and Chris Kinnear’s side go into the game unbeaten in six home matches.

It will also be the first meeting between Dover and newly-promoted Fylde.

The Coasters won the National League North last season and following a rocky start in non-league’s top tier, have hit form in recent weeks with five wins from their last six matches in all competitions.

And this weekend’s clash also sees the division’s top two goalscorers take the field.

Danny Rowe leads the way with ten goals, with Athletic’s Bird just one behind on nine.



Danny Rowe’s brace saw AFC Fylde gain three points at the expense of the Gulls at Mill Farm.

The home side had the lead when a poor clearance following Henry Jones’ corner fell for Rowe to slot in.

Luke Young’s free kick almost had the visitors level, but the ball deflected off debutant Andy Mangan and onto the post.

Rowe soon smashed in his second to put the game out of reach of Gary Owers men.


Prices are as follows:

Adults – £17
Over 60’s – £14
Under 18’s – £8
Under 11’s (With an accompanying adult) – Free


The game starts at 3pm but if you are unable to make the trip, we will have live updates on Twitter – @DAFCLiveText – follow us and get all the news as it happens!

Coverage starts from 2pm.


(Kick off 3pm unless stated)



There is a coach travelling to Bromley on Saturday 2nd December and it’s not too late to book a seat on it.

Prices are as follows:

Adult members £15, adult non-members £30 and accompanied child (Under 16) £5

There is also a coach going to Wrexham on Saturday 23rd December and the costs are:

Adult members £30, adult non-members £45 and accompanied child (Under 16) £15

Please call or text Andy on 0793 4300335 to book your seat, or see him in the Centre Spot after the match against Fylde.

Please note you are now required to pay for your seat in advance by cash or via bank transfer.


Preparations are in full swing for the club’s second Community Day of the season at Crabble on Saturday.

We’ve given 50 tickets to each of the 42 schools in the Dover district who have asked for them to allow students to attend the day and savour the Crabble experience during the National League clash with AFC Fylde.

Our first Community Day saw a bumper crowd of 2,795 attend the clash with Solihull Moors on September 30.

Saturday’s game against promoted AFC Fylde kicks-off at 3pm but the turnstiles will open at noon with plenty of pre-match entertainment is on the menu including:

  • Dance Dynamique will showcase their talents with a  10-minute group dance performance, including 15 adults and 25 kids, at  2pm
  •  A Walking football match
  • A Happy Feet football Match
  • A live singer in the CentreSpot from 1.30pm

To add to the celebrations, there will be FREE goodie bags for the children as well as FREE flags and balloons.

A tremendous amount of hard work has gone into making the day another memorable one at Crabble.

We look forward to welcoming you all to Crabble again.



Looking for a new quality way to experience watching a game at Crabble?

Why not get a table of eight together and try out our brand new VIP Platinum Lounge.

The new “VIP PLATINUM CLUB” brings a new level of matchday experience to guests and offers the ultimate season ticket membership with all the benefits of the Premier Club and much more.

All home league games and all cup games are included in the price of the VIP PLATINUM CLUB.


  • Hosted lounge with large TVs and Projector showing the game.
  • Three course meal, served at your table.
  • Reserved undercover premium padded seating.
  • Complementary tea, coffee and mineral water, plus dedicated bar before and after match.
  • Complimentary matchday magazine and team sheet.
  • Reserved Parking in our ‘Premier Club’ parking area.

And as a special one-off for Christmas deal, a table of eight will cost you £500, £50 off the normal price.

If you are interested in finding out more about the special offer or any of the sponsorship packages we have on offer, please get in touch and contact the commercial team on 01304 822373 or email them at

You can also call club director Matthew Jaenicke on 07900 690206

All of us here at the club appreciate your support.


Dover Athletic is giving women aged over 40 a shot at playing walking football at Crabble.

The first session will be held this Sunday, October 15 and the action kicks-off at 10am and finishes at 11.30am.

It will include an hour of football followed by refreshments in the Centre Spot.

The rules of the game are much the same as what we normally see played – however, there are some major differences.

Anything so much as a jog is prohibited for a start!!

Teams playing are also smaller, with between five and seven players a-side.

Other rules include free kicks are indirect, kick-ins replace throws, there are no offsides and the ball must be kept below head height.

The first five weeks will also be FREE of charge.

So, come along and have a go at playing!


Make sure you don’t miss the unique opportunity to see one of the legends of British rock music up close and personal when the Strawbs take to the stage in the Centre Spot at Crabble on October 15th.

The special one-off gig is part of the bands European leg of their ‘Hero & Heroine’ tour.

The album of the same name has been listed by Rolling Stone magazine as ‘one of the 50 greatest progressive rock albums of all time’ and it is the band’s biggest seller worldwide.

They have sold three million albums worldwide, including Bursting At The Seams,’ ‘Grave New World,’ and the beloved ‘Hero and Heroine,’ since their formation in 1967.

Founder member Dave Cousins, who has been described by All Music Guide as ‘the most talented Dylan-influenced songwriter to come out of England’, is also a personal friend of Dover Athletic chairman Jim Parmenter.

The band, who are often mentioned in the same breath as progressive rock bands such as Yes, King Crimson, and The Moody Blues, actually started out 50 years ago as a bluegrass-based trio called the Strawberry Hill Boys.

That same year, the group — now rechristened the Strawbs, and doing repertory well beyond the bounds of bluegrass music.

In 1969, the Strawbs were signed to A&M Records and cut their first album, the acoustic-textured ‘Strawbs,’ that same year.

Since then, the band went on to have seven consecutive albums in the Billboard Top 200 in the United States.

The current Strawbs line-up comprises of Cousins, lead guitarist Dave Lambert, bass player Chas Cronk, and drummer Tony Fernandez, who recorded and toured together in the 1970s.

They will be joined by keyboard virtuoso Dave Bainbridge of Iona, a band whose mystical blend of rock, folk, Celtic and ambient music has endeared them to audiences across Europe and North America for the last 25 years.

This performance promises to be a remarkable evening spanning Progressive Rock and English Folk across the decades – do NOT miss out!

There will a limited release of tickets for this intimate night.

Tickets are £16 and are available from the reception at Crabble Stadium (open Monday to Friday 9am – 4pm) AND online from the DAFC Direct




The Football in the Community Team have been very busy delivering quality football coaching to all ages.

With the vital help of our community volunteers, Deb and Paul Harrison, we have been providing a variety of projects to the local community.

Happy Feet Soccer School

The Saturday morning Soccer School is still proving to be very popular. Children between the ages of five to 16 can turn up and join in for just £3 a session and it is not compulsory to turn up every week.

The Community Team delivered nine full days of Soccer fun during the Summer holidays, spanning over three weeks. Coaches and children alike had a great time using their soccer skills as well as their ‘brains’ solving puzzles. No tears were seen during these sessions (well apart from a couple of the male coaches!!)

A big thank you to two of our first team players, Jamie Allen and Kane Richards, for attending, handing out certificates and making the children’s day.

Another thank you goes to Captain Crab who side stepped along to the presentations.

 Walking Football (Men 50+)

This great initiative was set up in February with the help of coaches Graham and Richard who give up their Sunday mornings to work alongside this energetic bunch of chaps (the fun and laughter can be heard for miles).

Its not all fun though, they arrive at the Centre Spot after an hours training and a game of football, for a well earned cup of tea and choccie biscuits along with some social time and a catch up.

Walking Football (Women 40+)

This will be starting in the next few weeks.

Thank You’s

A huge thank you must go to the National League Trust for providing additional funding to help these Community Football services run:

Happy Feet

Walking Football – Men

Walking Football – Women

Summer Soccer Schools

Schools’ Football Tournaments 

Equally, a massive thank you to Nick Cunningham, John Martin and Tom Petters for their kind donations to our community scheme this year.

For any information regarding any of our community projects please contact:

Vikki Pawley – Community Development Manager –








We are busy finalising preparations for the club’s first Community Day of the season at Crabble on Saturday.

We’ve given 50 tickets to every school in the Dover district to allow students to attend the day and savour the Crabble experience during the National League clash with Solihull Moors.

Saturday’s game kicks-off at 3pm but Community Day sees the turnstiles open at noon.

Plenty of pre-match entertainment is planned, including the Vista Twisters Cheerleading Team and a community scheme match on the pitch.

To add to the celebrations, there will be FREE goodie bags for the children as well as FREE flags and balloons.

A tremendous amount of hard work has gone into making the day a memorable one for all involved.

We look forward to welcoming you all to Crabble.