JIMMY DRYDEN is in contention to be on the subs bench for Saturday’s trip to Lymington and New Milton.
The prolific Whites striker has completed intensive daily physiotherapy on his injured knee and returns to training tomorrow (Thursday).
Although it is touch-and-go whether he will be included among the substitutes for the trip to the New Forest, the fact he is in with a chance is a superb boost to manager Clive Walker and his Dover team.
Jimmy said: “I’m just so pleased to see light at the end of the tunnel. I’m gutted to have got my Dover career off to a bad start like this but now I just want to repay the fans, chairman and Clive. I’m raring to go
“We’re going to test the knee in training and then take it from there. I’ve got to build up fitness and I’m certainly targeting to return for the Met Police game at home a week Saturday. Although there is a chance of being on the bench this weekend.
“I want to get back into the team and help fire us out of this division. Dover Athletic deserve to be at a higher level and we’ve got to work our socks off to do it. We can achieve promotion, I’m confident of that, but we need to sort out our goalscoring problem. That’s why I am here and, when fit, I will score goals.”
Kevin Cooper’s arrival from Met Police on Monday means Whites now have two in-form goalscorers at the club. Kevin’s 19 goals this season makes him Ryman One’s leading goalscorer. Jimmy has scored 21 goals this season, 19 of them in the Premier Division for Folkestone Invicta.
Now Jimmy is challenging Kevin to a goalscoring competition, which he hopes can only benefit Whites in the run-in.
He said: “I am two ahead of him at the moment. Let’s see which one of us ends up with the most goals this season. Winning is the most important thing but if the two of us can hit the net for Dover then that can only be good.”
Jimmy reckons the biggest problem during the club’s sticky spell has been the amount of games drawn and the lack of players getting forward. But he is confident of not only getting on the end of crosses and passes, he can carve out chances too.
He said: “Some of the lads perhaps haven’t been brave enough in the box. Forwards and some of the other boys need to get right in there, which is what I like to do.
“It’s good that we’ve gone out and signed another striker because that not only gives the club competition for places, it gives Clive more options.”
Jimmy has urged fans to get behind Clive and the team as they enter the business end of the season.
He said: “Clive is a great manager and he’s been so unlucky with injuries. Obviously, mine was a huge blow – and no-one can hold him responsible for that, or any of the other setbacks we’ve had to suffer. It really does have a major effect on a team’s performances and form.
“I’m a Dover lad and want to get promoted. Everyone needs to pull together now – we should all be in this together, starting now until the end of the season. We need the fans’ support, and need to work hard, and it will help us.”