*BS*ANDY HESSENTHALER is planning to nail down his squad for next season within weeks, rather than months.
*BF*The Whites gaffer has already targeted three players and hopes to be in a position to unveil at least one new signing, if not more, within the next 10 days.
Hess – who is set to release the club’s retained list in the next few days – is talking to players that chairman Jim Parmenter revealed “would excite the fans and are vastly experienced operators”.
Andy told doverathletic.com: “I don’t want to spend the pre-season wheeling and dealing, so we want to get the bulk of that done before we all go on our holidays.
“We may have some deals done by the end of next week, but you can never be 100 per cent sure in football. A few factors come into it, so we just keep our fingers crossed.
“But we’re certainly going to keep working at bringing the players into the club that we want – because we don’t want to stand still in Blue Square South. We want to win another promotion.”
A hat-trick of successive promotions would be an incredible feat – but ambitious Hess is looking even further up the ladder.
He said: “This club belongs in the Conference – and there’s no way we want to be hanging about in the Blue Square South. Of course, it’s going to be a step up from the Ryman League – and we have to bridge that gap.
“However, we will be going for it, make no mistake about that. And, if we don’t win promotion at the first attempt, it won’t be down to not trying. The chairman shares this view, he wants to progress – and that’s what we’ll be looking to do.”
Hess and his assistant Darren Hare will be attending the Blue Square South play-off final to get a little taster of the standard to be expected.
*Ppic1*But the vastly experienced Whites chief is under no illusions that his team have come a long way in such a short time.
However, he said: “We added some quality signings last summer to develop the side – and are going to be doing the same again this year. We’ve got a good squad and will add a blend of experience and youth to develop it even further.”
Meanwhile, Laurence Ball leaves the club to take up a Masters degree at Oxford University with the gaffer’s blessing.
He said: “Laurence has been first-class for us – and he’s made the right decision. He’s clearly a clever lad and you can’t turn down a chance like that.
“We are very pleased for him and wish him the very best of luck. He will always be welcome at Crabble.”