Category: Academy News


Teenage midfielder Luke Baptiste spoke to BBC Radio Kent’s Matt Gerrard after his Man-of-the-Match performance in what was only his second start for Andy Hessenthaler’s side in the National League draw against King’s Lynn Town at Crabble.


Andy Hessenthaler spoke to BBC Radio Kent’s Matt Gerrard after the 1-1 National League draw against King’s Lynn Town Town at Crabble on Saturday.

Koby Arthur put Whites ahead with his fourth goal of the season in the 28th minute before Josh Barrett, who scored twice against Dover at The Walks in December, equalised in the 65th minute.




Andy Hessenthaler has added two more of our Academy players to his squad ahead of today’s National League clash with King’s Lynn Town at Crabble (3pm).

Forwards Jack Nelson and George Nikaj, who are both 18, will join their Academy team-mates Harrison Byford, George Wilkinson, Kieron Agbebi, and Luke Baptiste in the matchday squad.

Nelson has been in the Academy set-up for two years and he’s the leading scorer for them.

He scored five goals in an 8-0 win at Weston-Super-Mare for Academy manager Mike Sandman’s team last month.

Nelson has also played for Larkfield and New Hythe in the SCEFL League this season, scoring seven times in their last six matches.

Dover resident Nikaj (below) made his senior debut as a second-half substitute in our Kent Senior Cup tie at Dartford last month.


By Alex Hoad

Dover’s eight-year stay in the National League came to an end at Crabble on Saturday after the defeat against the Somerset visitors.

With 11 games remaining and 12 points deducted by the National League on the eve of the season, Whites can no longer overhaul Aldershot in 20th, despite Shots losing at home to Kings Lynn on Saturday.

Manager Andy Hessenthaler named an unchanged XI from the narrow defeat at Halifax but replaced the unwell Henry Woods on the bench with 16-year-old Academy prospect Kieron Agbebi.

The game kicked-off following an emotional minute’s silence in memory of beloved Dover fan and club photographer Simon Harris who passed away on Friday at the age of just 66.

Dover had taken just one point from the seven-game since the memorable win over Eastleigh but the visitors arrived at Crabble in less-than-stellar form themselves, having taken only three points from their previous seven games and won one in 16 in all competitions.

Town did however start brightly and goalkeeper Adam Parkes had to drop to his left to hold a low drive from 20 yards from Tom Knowles early on.

At the other end on-loan West Brom keeper Ted Cann, making his second debut for the Glovers after a previous loan spell, made a meal of saving Alfie Pavey’s speculative 25-yard shot on 15 minutes while Dover won several free-kicks in good positions but were unable to test the keeper after curling left-footed deliveries from Arjanit Krasniqi.

The deadlock was broken in the 19th minute when Jordan Barnett’s lofted free-kick was flicked on by Adi Yussuf and bounced through the Dover defence to Ben Barclay, who guided an expert half-volley into the top corner giving Parkes no chance.

It was one-way traffic for a spell and Knowles flashed a low cross across the face of goal with Charlie Wakefield unable to turn in at the back post.

Hessenthaler shuffled his pack at the interval and brought on Koby Arthur, with Michael Gyasi joining Alfie Pavey up top,

Myles Judd reverting to right wing-back and Will Moses joining George Wilkinson in holding midfield with three at the back.

The hosts enjoyed a blistering start to the half and Gyasi fired over while a scrambling Cann had to tip over a curling Wilkinson cross.

The clinching goal arrived against the run of play 10 minutes after the break when Knowles broke from midfield and was controversially adjudged to have been fouled by Jake Goodman on the edge of the box.

Dale Gorman stepped up to fire a curling right-footed free-kick around the wall which beat Parkes into the top-corner. It was the first time the Glovers had scored more than once in a game since November.

The lively Gyasi swung a free-kick past the post at the other end and sub Agbebi – the latest debutant from our Academy – caused Town’s defence some problems, but the game was up when Cann missed the ball allowing Gyasi to roll the ball into the empty net, only for the goal to be ruled out for an offside with protests from Gyasi and Pavey falling on deaf ears.

Danny Collinge looped a header from an Arthur corner well over the bar and Gyasi saw appeals for a penalty waved away in the closing stages while at the other end a block from Krasniqi thwarted Knowles from close range and Parkes dived to his left to deny Barnett before sub Olofela Olomola dragged a shot past the upright in stoppage time.

After the game chairman Jim Parmenter confirmed Hessenthaler will return next season to spearhead Dover’s challenge in National League South.


Dover Athletic Academy midfielder Kieron Agbebi has earned a call-up to Andy Hessenthaler’s squad.

The 16-year-old will wear the number 35 shirt and he goes straight into the matchday squad for today’s National League game against Yeovil Town at Crabble.

Agbebi made his senior debut in the Kent Senior Cup defeat at Dartford earlier this month and now joins fellow Academy team-mates Noah Carney, George Wilkinson, Harrison Byford, and Luke Baptiste, in the senior squad alongside Academy graduates Will Moses and Marshall Wratten.

Agbebi joined the Academy in July last year and Academy Manager Mike Sandmann said he had progressed incredibly well in his first year.

“He is developing his game and improving every week in terms of his game understanding.

“Kieron is extremely athletic and is working hard to build himself physically where he is consistently working hard in the gym.

“He has a great lad, hardworking and determined to improve and progress.

“I couldn’t be more pleased for him to get his opportunity and be involved with the first team at such a young age.”



Eighteen-year-old defender Will Moses made his first start of the season in the 2-1 National League defeat against FC Halifax Town at The Shay on Saturday.

After the game, the former Dover Athletic Academy captain spoke to BBC Radio Kent.



Dover Athletic Academy manager Mike Sandmann gives his reaction after his young team, which included two-16 year-olds, lost 2-1 at promotion-chasing National League South Dartford in the second round of the Kent Senior Cup.

Dartford, the cup holders, led 1-0 at half-time thanks to Weymouth loanee Jordan Greenidge’s 20th-minute strike.

Greenidge added a second 15 minutes from time before 18-year-old midfielder Luke Baptiste reduced the deficit for Whites.

DARTFORD: Dan Wilks, Kory Roberts, Jayden Sweeney, Tyrique Hyde, Connor Essam, Tom Bonner ©, Danny Leonard, Kieran Murtagh, Jordan Greenidge, Che Krabbendam, Ade Azeez.

SUBS: Jack Jebb, David Ijaha, Kalvin Kalala, George Porter, Gabriel Duo.

DOVER ATHLETIC: Josh Bexon, Harrison Byford, Marshall Wratten, Flynn Toon, Will Moses ©, Will Currie, Kieran Agebebi, Harry Sikirwayi, Djair Parfitt-Williams, Luke Baptiste, Noah Carney.

SUBS: Cameron Chamberlin, Sam Hignett, George Nikaj, Daniel Lott, Freddie Oliver.



Teenage midfielder George Wilkinson spoke to BBC Radio Kent’s Matthew Gerrard after 17-year-old Academy starlet came on as a first-half substitute in the 3-1 loss against Grimsby Town at Crabble.


Dover Athletic is proud to announce that two of our Academy youngsters have signed with the club.

Midfielders George Wilkinson and Luke Baptiste have already played for Andy Hessenthaler’s side this season, both coming on as second-half substitutes in the FA Trophy defeat against Bromley at Crabble last month.

George, who will wear the 28 shirt, is 17 while Luke, who is 18, will have the number 29 on his back.


Carney taking England call-up in his stride

There was never any danger the thrill of an England call-up would go to teenage forward Noah Carney’s head.

The 17-year-old was taking the news all in his stride when he discovered he’d been named in the England U18 Schoolboys side on Monday evening.

Carney, who came off the bench for manager Andy Hessenthaler’s team in Saturday’s FA Trophy Third Round defeat against Bromley at Crabble, got the fantastic news after he had attended the third and final England trial in Birmingham on Sunday.

More than 240 players from throughout the country had started the trial process before the final 32 attended on Sunday.

Carney admitted his selection had come as a pleasant ‘surprise’.

The Academy starlet said: “To be honest, I didn’t think I had done enough in the final trial to get picked, so It was unbelievable when Mike (Academy manager Mike Sandmann) called me to tell me.

“Don’t get me wrong, I am feeling over the moon and I am really looking forward to wearing an England shirt sometime next year, but my focus is now on playing as much as I can for Dover Athletic and the Academy when I can.

“I’ve just got to keep working hard and take any opportunities that come my way to play for Dover.

“I really also want to thank my family, Mike (Sandmann), and the Gaffer (Andy Hessenthaler) for all the encouragement and support they’ve given me throughout this journey of mine  – it has been fantastic.”

While the modest Carney was not about to get carried away by his selection, Mike Sandmann said his young charge fully deserved everything he got.

He said: “All of us at the Dover Athletic Academy and The Abbey School are extremely proud of Noah. To get the opportunity to represent your country at any level is a truly fantastic achievement.

“I am so pleased for him that his hard work and determination to succeed is getting the recognition it deserves.

“His family I know will be extremely proud and they also deserve to enjoy this exciting news for the part they continue to play in Noah’s success.

“I know this experience will be invaluable for Noah’s development and we are all looking forward to seeing how his journey continues to develop.”