DANNY CHAPMAN hopes to take pain-killing injections on his knee Tuesday night to enable him to take on Tonbridge.
The tough-tackling, no-nonsense Whites midfielder is desperate to line up in the big top-of-the-table clash with Kent rivals Tonbridge at Crabble.
Dover Athletic are expecting a huge crowd at Crabble to roar them to victory against Angels and to the top of Ryman One.
And Danny, who is close friends with Tonbridge boss Tony Dolby, wants to play a part in helping Clive Walker’s men to post what could prove to be an important victory.
He said: “It’s been frustrating not to play in the last two games. I got caught on my knee against Dartford last Saturday and, although I tried to play on, it was in so much pain there was no way I could continue.
“The rest has done it good this week – although I’ve been gutted watching us from the sidelines at the Dartford and Met Police games.
“A doctor is going to see me at the ground at 7pm on Tuesday and it’ll be decided there and then if I can take an injection or not. I’m going to do my best to play. I’m always like that – I want to play if I can, especially such a big game like this one.
“I know a few of the lads at Tonbridge and used to be a trainee at Millwall with Tony, so it’ll be great to see him again. We’re old mates so I’ll be hoping to get one up on him – but most important of all is to help Dover to the top of the table, because this club needs to be in a higher division.
“It’ll be a great atmosphere at Crabble and I’m sure that will have Tonbridge fired up, not that it’ll take much to get them motivated with it being a top-of-the-table clash.”
Tonbridge’s 7-0 win against Newport IoW on Saturday certainly has raised a few eyebrows and they remain unbeaten, although they are only two points clear of Whites having played a game more.
Danny said: “A lot of teams just try to shut up shop against Dover. It’s not been like that for Tonbridge, so they’ve been able to open teams up a lot easier. My mates over there have been keeping me informed of how they’re getting on – and I’m sure it’s going to be one hell of a game on Tuesday, one we’d love to win.
“It’s early in the season, so the result may not prove to be too crucial come the end of the season. But it’s a top-of-the-table clash and it’s certainly going to have everyone fired up.”
Clive could potentially be without five of his best players for the game, with Daniel Braithwaite and Craig Cloke ruled out until after Christmas – and Shane Hamshare, Danny and Craig Wilkins all racing against the clock to be fit for the Crabble cruncher.
But Danny insists if Shane, Craig and himself all fail to make the match, the young lads must step up to the plate, show they can handle the pressure of a Kent derby and get the right result.
He said: “The lads did well against Met Police. There’s some good young players at the club but they’ve got to show us all what they’re made of. They need to grab the chance to show they’re worthy of being in the first-team and come of age.
“Hopefully, I’ll make it and be able to help the younger lads but if not then it’s time for them to stand up and be counted.”
Clive knows his men will be in for a tough match at Crabble and Tonbridge will almost certainly treat it as a cup final.
He said: “They’re flying at the moment and to score seven against any side takes some doing. They must be doing something right. It’s going to be hard and I think it’s time we won one of these Kent derbies.”
Whites have lost to Folkestone twice, Tonbridge, Margate and Dartford in big Kent derbies during the past 11 months. Whites’ only wins against Kent clubs in competitive action came against Cray and Ashford at home.