THE whole nation was holding their breath during the week before the results of England star Wayne Rooney’s scan was released.
Meanwhile, in Dover, a number of Whites fans will be keeping their fingers crossed about the results of a far more low-key scan on defender Daniel Braithwaite’s troublesome knee.
Braffers is confident that the results will be good and it will enable him to discuss a new contract with Whites for next season.
The River End favourite believes he will need some treatment, probably keyhole surgery on a cartilage injury, but that should see him miss only ONE WEEK of pre-season – virtually guaranteeing he will be fully fit for the big kick-off on August 19.
And it may well have a bearing on the future of Chris Chase, who lives near Braffers in Watford.
He said: “I know there is something wrong because I get pain after walking for 15 minutes. But I’m confident it’s nothing serious. I read some rumours on an internet forum, suggesting I’ll be out for TWO YEARS. I can honestly say that is not true – in fact, it made me laugh when I read it.
“I shouldn’t have come on during the play-off final but it was such a massive game for us and I wanted to contribute something.
“But now I am just hoping that the scan doesn’t turn up anything serious – and I can concentrate on getting it sorted and playing for Dover next season.”
Whites are keen to sign Chase, who Daniel has been chauffeuring to Crabble. But the popular winger may be having some trials at Football League clubs during pre-season – and as yet is not in a position to commit his immediate future to Dover Athletic.
Braffers said: “Chris has a person who looks after him, kind of like an agent, and he might be getting some trials with League clubs. But I think there’s a few things up in the air for him now, so that’s why he hasn’t been able to make a decision yet.
“I also think the results of my scan could have a bearing on whether he will sign for us too. Obviously, my contract will be subject to the scan results – and he will be relying on me to drive him down to Dover.
“Chasey can drive but he doesn’t have a car, so I’m playing the role of taxi driver at the moment.”
The club have already stated that they will be bringing pace into the side – and a fast winger is definitely top of Clive’s hit list. Chase is the top target but, if he is not able to commit to Whites’ cause next season, the club will go after a similar kind of player.
Braithwaite said: “I think it’s fair comment that we need some pace in the side. The signing of John Keister and Glen Knight sound excellent and gives us some experience.
“I’ve heard that Knight is a brilliant keeper and I remember Keister from the friendly game and Kent Senior Cup Final match against Margate. He was impressive and surely he will only strengthen this squad.
“Hopefully, Chasey will sign, but, if not, Clive Walker and Jim Parmenter have said they’re looking to sign someone like him.”
Some fans thought that, looking at the squad on paper, Whites had won the league title before a ball was kicked last season. But Braffers said: “It was never going to be like that. You never win leagues on paper. You have to earn the right to win promotion – and unfortunately over the course of the season we didn’t do that.
“Obviously, we had bad luck with injuries but that’s football. However, this squad will be better for the experience of last season and we’ve got a bit more strength now with these signings.
“We’ve got a good chance of doing well next season. It’s going to be harder because only the champions go up automatically – but we’ll give it our best shot and hopefully, fingers crossed, I’ll be part of it.”