*BS*TERRY WHITE has promised Dover supporters that he will be leading from the front after being appointed caretaker-manager while Clive Walker is on sick leave.
*BF*Terry, who was formerly joint manager at Hastings with ex-Dover boss Neville Southall, outlined his plans to Justin Allen for helping to plot Whites’ bid to win the Ryman One title.
The interview, which you can listen to on WhitesLive on Demand, is reproduced here in text format, with the compliments of doverathletic.com
*BS*JA: *BF*You join the club while Clive is getting treatment. How did this move come about?
*BS*TW: *BF*I received a call from the chairman asking if I’d come along to one of the games and have a brief chat. He explained Clive wasn’t well.
And as well a job as Steve Nolan was doing, the job would be too much for one man to do on his own. He offered if I’d step in on a caretaker basis.
I went to the Hastings game because I live there anyway. I like to keep my eye in on the non-league game.
I came to watch the Sittingbourne game on Saturday.
*BS*JA: *BF*You told me earlier you were impressed with the set-up here at Crabble.
*BS*TW: *BF*There are not many clubs where I’d have taken this opportunity. But when a club as big as Dover come calling, you’d be silly not to take up the offer.
The fans were unbelievable, at the Sittingbourne game, considering where the club is at the moment.
I am hoping, for the time being, that I can continue to give them something to cheer about.
*Q1**BS*JA: *BF*You must have memories of Crabble from your Hastings days?
*BS*TW: *BF*Yes, not very fond ones, unfortunately. We didn’t win there very often – but hopefully that will be addressed, now that I am the manager.
*BS*JA: *BF*Does it surprise you that Dover have maintained a good support base?
*BS*TW: *BF*I am not surprised. It’s one of these clubs that has always had a hardcore of supporters. They are what I call proper fans – not ones who simply come when times are good. These are supporters who also come when times are bad.
And, although things are going pretty well this season, Dover is a Conference/Conference South club -and that is where it should be aiming.
*BS*JA: *BF*What were your impressions of the team from the two games you’ve viewed so far?
*BS*TW: *BF*I gathered the most knowledge from the Sittingbourne game, where I thought they played very well – especially when they went 2-0 up.
They were edgy until they got that second goal, which should have come earlier.
But, from that point, they lost that bit of fear they had in their play, passed the ball better and played a bit more freely.
*BS*JA: *BF*The team have let a lot of 1-0 leads slip this season, which you would have seen at Hastings. Do you put that down to fear?
*BS*TW: *BF*Possibly. Anytime when you’re only leading 1-0, the other side are always in the game.
I have been reading through Dover’s facts and figures this season and have seen that we’ve drawn so many games where we’ve been 1-0 up.
Yet, having said that, teams that don’t let many goals in are usually the ones that are there or thereabouts around winning the league. We haven’t let many in – and long may that continue.
*Lpic1*But hopefully I can work on us scoring more goals, while keeping them out down the other end.
*BS*JA: *BF*How do you like your teams to play Terry? Are you an attack-minded manager?
*BS*TW: *BF*I’m a win-minded manager, Justin, to be honest with you. I just want to win. I don’t care how, just as long as we get those three points.
Those hundreds and hopefully at the end of season, thousands of Dover fans, won’t care how well we’ve played, or how attractively we’ve played, as long as the club are sitting in that No 1 spot in the league. That’s what it’s about.
Of course, I want to win games by passing the ball well and scoring attractive goals – but, ultimately, I want to win.
*BS*JA: *BF*What’s your remit here Terry? Just fill in for Clive while he is away and in the meantime get the club into that top spot?
*BS*TW: *BF*Hopefully, that’s exactly what it is. It might seem a bit of an odd situation to some people. But this is exactly the situation.
If Clive is well in one week, then I’ll be gone. If he is not well until the end of the season, then, as long as I’m hopefully doing a good job, I’ll still be here until then.
*BS*JA: *BF*So you’ve not really looked at it beyond that?
*BS*TW: *BF*No, certainly not. There are two things I want most – Dover to win the league and Clive to be well again.
*BS*JA: *BF*I understand you’ve spoken to Clive and he has filled you in with the team?
*BS*TW: *BF*Yes, of course. I had a meeting with Clive on New Year’s Day and he told me, although he has got to be careful with his health, he will always be on the end of the phone to talk about players.
It’s going to take me a little while to get settled in. It’s not like I am going in at the start of the season, where you get a pre-season to judge players and their character. I’ve got to jump right in there.
*BS*JA: *BF*Have the board given you assurances that the team is your baby, so to speak?
*BS*TW: *BF*Yes, absolutely. Jim was present at the meeting I had with Clive and told him until such time you’re well again I am in charge.
*BS*JA: *BF*And does that mean that you will also be able to bring players in too?
*BS*TW: *BF*This is something Clive and I spoke about at our meeting. I am not going to sign a player without talking to him first.
*Ppic1*I am not going to bring players in and then suddenly Clive returns only to have new players in the squad that he doesn’t fancy. We will both chat about these things first.
Already I am working to bring a player in to replace Jon Wallis if he leaves the club.
*BS*JA:*BF* Jon Wallis has been oustanding, hasn’t he? I guess the situation with him is that he’s just a bit too good for this level and from his own point of view it’s probably better for him to play at a higher level?
*BS*TW:*BF* Of course, but what you have to bear in mind is whether he’d be better off playing in Dover’s first team, in a team that is going well, or in Hereford’s reserves where he’s not really going to get noticed.
*BS*JA:*BF* You were a goalscoring midfielder in your playing days, you played loads of games for Hastings. What happened after that? Did you take coaching badges and then went into management?
*BS*TW:*BF* I was offered the chance to be joint-manager at Hastings, once I’d finished playing. I played about 600 games for them in the Southern League. Then my cousin Dean (Terry’s fellow joint-manager) moved on to Brighton. George Wakeling came in and I stayed there with him. Then I had a brief spell as manager of St. Leonards. Then I went back to Hastings when Neville Southall took charge. He asked me to go back. We were going quite well, 4th in the league and then he got sacked! I promised him when I joined that should he go, I’d go with him. He gave me his blessing to stay but I told him that I’d given him my word so I left as well. I was offered the job when he was sacked.
*BS*JA:*BF* Since then have you been doing any coaching?
*BS*TW:*BF* I’ve been doing some scouting work for Puma UK, so I’ve been getting around to academy games and within the non-league game. This has come out of the blue but I’m very flattered and very honoured, to be honest with you.
*BS*JA:*BF* It’s not too far from home either, is it?
*Q2**BS*TW:*BF* It takes me about an hour and three quarters from Bexhill. I’m not worried about that anyway. It’s a good opportunity for me and it’s one of the only clubs I would have done it for because it is a big, massive club.
*BS*JA:*BF* Having spoken to Clive and Jim about this appointment, they both say that one of the key factors about bringing you in is that you know this level of football very well, having played and coached in it. What kind of team is going to get out of this division this season, because it looks wide open?
*BS*TW:*BF* Looking at the way the season’s gone so far, it looks to me like the team that’s going to get out of it and win it is the team that decides first of all to go and grab it by the throat and say, ‘We’re going to win it, we’re going to get ourselves 10 points in front and you’ve got to catch us. At the moment, everytime a team gets to the top they seem to have a bit of a wobble and it makes you wonder whether they can deal with it.
*BS*JA:*BF* It looked like Dulwich were going to do that a few weeks ago when they went six points clear but they’ve been pegged back.
*BS*TW:*BF* I was going to watch them yesterday (Monday) but it was called off. I have seen them play already this year and they’re not a bad side. It’s a nice start for me anyway!
*BS*JA:*BF* Finally, have you met the players and had a meeting with them yet or is that going to happen this week?
*BS*TW:*BF* No, tonight (Tuesday).
*BS*JA:*BF* So you don’t know who is available for the game on Sunday?
*BS*TW:*BF* I spoke to Jim and Clive yesterday and they haven’t briefed me about any injuries. Obviously we’ve lost Jon Wallis but that will give somebody else a chance.
*BS*JA:*BF* So you’ll assess it in training this week and then look at selection ahead of Sunday then?
*BS*TW:*BF* Yeah, we’ll have a look at tonight’s training session and Thursday’s. I’ll have a chat with Steve because at the moment he knows who’s playing well, who’s fit and who looks tired, etc. And who can go into Jon Wallis’ place.
*BS*JA:*BF* I’m sure all the Dover fans will join me in wishing you the best of luck and hopefully we can grab that top spot.
*BS*TW:*BF* Yeah, I hope so. I’m not naive enough to think that they’re all going to go, ‘Oh, Terry White, wonderful, brilliant’. Some will say, ‘What? Why? How? When?’ But I will do my utmost for them. What they will get from me is somebody who’s passionate and dedicated and who wants to win regardless of which club he’s at. Hopefully that will be enough to get them onboard.
*BS*JA:*BF* Which of course you will hope to be replicated by the players out on the field?
*BS*TW:*BF* Of course, and if it isn’t then unfortunately they won’t play for Dover Athletic anymore.
*BS*JA:*BF* Thank you very much, Terry White.
*BS*After the inteview, Terry asked to add that he was saddened to learn of the sad passing of Dover fan Simon Davis, who was killed in a motoring accident on Boxing Day.
He said: “I was deeply moved by some of the tributes to somebody who clearly was a popular fan. I pass on my deepest sympathies to his family and friends at this sad time.”