Category: Academy News


The young Whites come from behind to advance in the National League Youth Cup.

Mike Sandmann’s young Whites showed fantastic character away from home today to advance into the semi-final of the National League Cup. After falling behind in the opening moments of the match, Dover turned on the magic to once again show their cup pedigree at Youth level.

It certainly wasn’t an ideal start for the away side with Yeovil taking the lead after just one minute. This only stoked the fire in the Whites who scored through Archie Hatcher and Dan Lott. Hatcher had notched a brace while Freddie Oliver received the Man of the Match for his performance.

‘I’m really proud of the players today to come from behind after such a long journey,’ said Sandmann. ‘Yeovil made it difficult for us with their management of the game after they scored. We started slowly which which give ourselves a difficult task but we responded brilliantly. I’m more proud of their professional performance, maintaining discipline and focus and not allowing the manner of the game to affect their jobs.
As soon as we scored early in the second half I knew we would only get better. I could sense their determination at half time to turn it around and we are now only a game away from the National League Cup final. I know the players will be desperate to get into it.’
Well done lads. Superb stuff.
Come on you Young Whites!


Match off! 

Unfortunately due to an accident on the motorway, Eastleigh are unable to get to the Abbey School. The game is now off.


Academy team to face Eastleigh on Wednesday afternoon will now be back at the Abbey School in Faversham.

With the temperatures dropping at an alarming rate this week the covers have been laid on the pitch at Crabble with Saturdays tie at home against Eastbourne Borough in mind. Unfortunately the youngsters will now revert back to their normal home pitch at the Abbey School.

Good luck, lads.


The young Whites face Eastleigh at Crabble in the National Youth League.

Mike Sandmann’s academy side take on Eastleigh at Crabble this Wednesday in the National Youth League.

Kick Off will be at 13.30 and the lads would love as much support as possible so if you can get there to cheer them on, they would greatly appreciate it.

Academy graduate George Nikaj also returns home to the club. The forward had been on loan at Ashford United and had impressed during his short spell at the club, scoring 12 goals in 18 games.

Sandmann was keen to be reunited with Nikaj. ‘Really looking forward to having George back with us. I know all about George’s potential having worked with him for 3 years in the Academy The loan move has given him the opportunity to build his confidence and sharpness, ready to compete for a start at Dover Athletic. I am confident that George will continue to score goals now he is back with us.’

Welcome back, George.



Are you a school leaver who aspires to become a footballer? Well this is the opportunity for you. 

You will be studying at the Abbey School in Faversham as well as training and playing matches. Trial dates are attached and who knows, you could be the next player to join the long list of academy graduates playing in our first team.

Date: Tuesday 14th February



A much changed team saw defeat in the Kent Senior Cup.

Any dreams of a cup run in the Kent Senior Cup was ended on Tuesday night with a 2-0 defeat away to Chatham Town. Although a defeat is normally hard to swallow, blooding youngsters for the fixture can be seen as a real positive for the club. The Academy had provided nine players to feature in the match as well as a further three that had previously graduated which shows that there is a clear pathway towards the first team. It’s a great experience for those lads in getting game time and one that is crucial to their development moving forward and ideal for the new manager to cast on eye who who could make an impact in his squad.

A goal at the end of each half was enough to undo all the hard work by Dover but it wasn’t to be on a cold night in Medway. Mitch Brundle can now solely focus on the bread and butter of the league with a tough home fixture against Havant & Waterlooville to come this Saturday.

‘I thought the game was a bit scrappy and we wasn’t tidy enough in possession for what we are asking for,’ said the manager after the match. ‘We finished the game with eight academy players on the pitch at the final whistle which is fantastic. We used the game how we wanted which was to get minutes in peoples legs and also gave us a chance to look at the kids. That is no disrespect to Chatham Town or even the tournament itself but we have to have proper games where the final result actually means something and it will benefit the youngsters for their development towards the first team.’

A valiant effort by the young lads.

Harry Earls, Harrison Byford, Jayden Wilson, Freddie Oliver, Will Sanders, Shae Hutchinon, George Wilkinson, Kieron Agbebi, Cameron Thompson, Luke Nandi, Joel Michael ofeniran;

SUBS: Matty Holness, Bleu Landau, Daniel Lott, Cameron Chamberlain, Archi Hatcher


Dover Athletic Football Club can today confirm the departure of manager Andy Hessenthaler, who leaves the club by mutual consent after his contract was cancelled, with immediate effect.

Hessenthaler returned to Crabble for a second time 15 games into the 2018/19 campaign following the departure of Chris Kinnear.

Mitch Brundle and Mike Sandmann will take joint interim charge of the team for the next few games, starting at Hungerford Town on Saturday, whilst we consider a more permanent structure for the future.

Chairman Jim Parmenter said: “Andy has given terrific service to the Club and assisted me in navigating some very difficult times.

“I wish to place on record our gratitude for his efforts, understanding, and hard work during his time at the Club.

“He is a man of integrity and decency, and I am sure he will be successful in his next role.

“We remain good friends and Hess will be welcome at Crabble at any time.”

Everyone at the club wishes Andy all the very best for the future.


The Chairman, Directors, management, players, and staff of Dover Athletic Football Club would like to wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year.

So whether you are a fan, a business that supports us, or a volunteer, we want to say that we really couldn’t do it without each and every one of you, so thank you one and all.



Dover Athletic Football Club Chairman Jim  Parmenter, the Directors, management, players, and staff would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Most importantly, we thank you, our fans, for your continued support – it is very much appreciated by us all.

We must also say a special thank you to our volunteers, who give their time so willingly, and our sponsors and commercial partners for their ongoing support.

So please enjoy a fantastic Christmas and cherish the time spent with family and friends.


Our Academy bowed out of the FA Youth Cup with their heads held high after losing to their Premier League counterparts in the Third Round tie at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre in Lancing on Wednesday.

The hosts led 2-0 at half-time before second-half substitute Tim Marapara reduced the deficit in the 64th minute after pouncing on a poor back pass.

Manager Mike Sandmann was full of praise for his young charges after the game.

He said: “It goes without saying how proud myself and all the staff are of the players after that performance, one that saw us push a Premier League team all the way to the end.

“We knew Brighton was going to dominate the ball and we set ourselves up to frustrate and counter-attack when turning over possession – I thought we frustrated them for large parts of the game with most of it played in front of us.

“We got ourselves in some good areas and caused them problems early on In the game despite having a lot less of the ball.

“We were disappointed with the goals we conceded after allowing their player to turn 25 yards out and the header, which we should have defended better against regardless of the opposition we play against.

“At half-time, we spoke about the importance of staying in the game while getting ourselves higher up the pitch and waiting for our chance to take more risks.

“I felt we continued to frustrate but in a higher area and I’m pleased with the goal we scored as we had to be patient and wait for the opportunity for them to make a mistake which Tim punished them for.

“When it was 2-1 the whole atmosphere changed and it become a proper game and Brighton felt it.

“You could see that with their goalkeeper getting booked for time wasting and the management team kicking the ball away.

“Tim had another chance deflected wide which could have made it even more uncomfortable for them.

“Saying that I couldn’t be prouder of them all and the players will certainly learn a lot from the game

“We asked the players to leave everything out on the pitch and they certainly did that.

“It’s been a great journey for the Academy and on behalf of everyone we would like to thank you for the support and kind messages we have received – I can assure you that it certainly doesn’t go unnoticed.”