Category: Academy News


Think you have what it takes to be the next Archie Hatcher?

The Academy are hosting an open day for anyone in Year 11 who is looking to move into not only further education, but to play football at the same time. The academy play and train at the Abbey School in Faversham and want to know if you have what it takes to follow in the footsteps of other Alumni such as Luke Baptiste, George Nikaj, George Wilkinson, Henry Young and Archie Hatcher. We hope to see you there.


Youngsters excel at St Georges.

Following on from their National Youth League success, Mike Sandmann and his squad of impressive youngsters headed to the home of English football, St Georges Park, to play in the U18-21 VAR tournament. The competition was used as a training aid for Premier League referees, as they continue with the development of the VAR system.

It was a great experience and the academy return the trophy for the fourth year running. – Mike Sandmann

The young Whites won 6, drew 1 and lost 2 on their way to the final where they nicked the only goal in a 1-0 win, courtesy of a Tim Marapara winner. First team George Wilkinson, Luke Baptiste and George Nikaj were also involved in the competition with Nikaj claiming the golden boot. Tom Green scored what many consider to be the goal of the competition as the youngsters marched on to glory.

Mike Sandmann spoke of his delight following the team’s victory. ‘Really pleased for the group who showed great character over the two days. We played a total of 10 matches and there were some really tired legs out there for the final but you would have thought it was our first game and that’s credit to the character and mindset of the group. It was great to have some of our graduates back due to this being an U18/21 tournament and it’s always great for them to win a trophy and have a winners medal around their neck.

It was a great experience and the academy return the trophy for the fourth year running.’

Well done, lads.


Megger continue with club support.

Main club sponsor Megger continue to support the football club this season by sponsoring not only the first team and academy but now also the youth section. For the 2023/24 campaign all Dover Athletic teams from top to bottom will be kitted out as per the first team, ensuring a sleek look throughout the club in its 40th Anniversary year.

The U19’s won the National League South last week with a sprinkling of players bound to be in the managers mind for the coming season. It was an impressive feat for the academy lads who thought off tough competition from the likes of Welling United, Eastleigh and Dartford.

Megger has been part of the community in Dover for years and in supporting the Dover Youth teams, we want to offer something to the next generation.  The academy has historically offered an excellent route to first team opportunities with the club and we look forward to seeing these talented players flourish and prosper. – Jeremy Simpson, Group CFO, Megger.

In addition to the new kit, we will be updating you all with the progress of the Youth Section this coming season with regular updates on the website. We are One Town, One Team, One Dover. We wish all of our Academy and Youth Section well for the coming season. For your chance to purchase the new kit, please click HERE



Academy boys claim U19 National League South title.

Mike Sandmann’s young guns claimed the National League South title today following a final day 4-1 win over Woking. The boys pipped Dartford U19’s to the post, edging in front of our north Kent rivals by three points. It was a cracking end to a season that had already seen two decent cup runs in both the FA Youth Cup and National League Cup, respectively.

‘I couldn’t be prouder – Mike Sandmann

The Successful U19’s Squad

Goals from Tim Marapara, Mohammed Ali, Jake Lumby and an Own goal secured the lads the trophy after a hard seasons graft. Gaffer Sandmann said ‘I couldn’t be prouder of what they have achieved this season, it has been a pleasure to work with them all and they should enjoy the credit that will come their way.’

First team boss Mitch Brundle will be casting a keen eye over the lads with potential of future additions as he prepares his team for the coming season. Kieron Agbebi had featured heavily on the bench towards the back end of the campaign whereas Freddie Oliver had played a pivotal role since his debut away at Taunton Town.

Get in there, lads. Super stuff.



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