Category: First Team News


Whites exit the FA Cup.

Dover’s FA Cup fire was extinguished in the Fourth Qualifying Round when a 1-0 defeat away to Eastleigh curtailed our chances of reaching the First Round Proper for another season. It was a bright start for the hosts who were confidently popping the ball around, trying to open up the Whites defence and they so nearly did when Rutherford burst through the away defence, only to blaze over the crossbar.

Henry Young battling for the ball before his late dismissal – Photo Eastleigh FC Website

Dover looked to play on the break with the explosive Lock and Zidan on either flank, looking to cause trouble with every attack, but it was the home side who could have opened the scoring with flurry of chances midway through the first half including a neat save from Terrell to keep the scores level going into the break. John Oyenuga had the best chance for the visitors with a rasping drive low to the goalkeepers right but McDonnell was equal to it.

The hosts continued with the pressure and on the hour mark it paid off as Taylor threaded the ball through the Dover defence to Carter, who finished from close range. Terrell and his defenders remonstrated with the linesman for an offside decision that never came. It was going to be an uphill task for the Whites now. The home side kept bearing down on Terrell’s goal, forcing him into another smart stop to keep the lead down to one.

Then came all the drama. With just ten minutes remaining, Eastleigh struck both uprights in the space of three minutes and you were starting to feel like there could be something in this for us. In the 84th minute, a loose ball was contested by Taylor and Young, with the Dover player getting there a little later, and the referee flashed a red card to send the Whites down to ten men.

The mountain to climb was now Everest. With just minutes remaining, Dover had a flurry of corners to try and find the equaliser and we thought we had when a loose ball fell to Nick Dembele just three yards out and as the bench jumped up to celebrate a certain goal, somehow McDonnell in the Eastleigh goal, stuck out a left arm to palm the shot away. It was a fantastic last ditch save.

With the game seemingly slipping away from the visitors, a corner at the death meant a forward run from goalkeeper Billy Terrell. The ball was swung in and it was Terrell who got his head to the ball, only for it to fall to safety. Moments later and Eastleigh were celebrating their win and a chance to play Boreham Wood in the First Round.

Dover Athletic: Terrell, Ojemen, Dunne, Sutherland, Naylor, Mensah, Hatcher, Young, Dembele, Oyenuga, Lock

Subs: Powell, Anifowose, Nikaj, Allen, Holness, Baptiste, Stewart

Eastleigh: McDonnell, Francillette, Carter, Taylor, McCallum, Boldewijn, Langston, Mauguire, Panter, Quigley, Rutherford

Subs: Scott, Barlow, Tshaka, Stock, Yang, Bagan



Hatcher puts pen to paper on his first deal.

Academy student Archie Hatcher this weeks puts pen to paper to sign his first contract with the club, following in the footsteps of teammate Henry Young. The young forward had made a couple of appearances as a substitute earlier in the campaign before being handed his first start in the last round of the FA Cup at home to Hastings United. His performance earned him the Man of the Match on Twitter and prompted his manager to select him again for the away trip to top of the table Bath City, where Hatcher repaid the faith shown in him by his manager by scoring an absolute worldie of a goal. It was a fantastic strike.

Hatcher applauds the crowd following his first start in the FA Cup – Picture George Cory

Mike Sandmann was delighted with the news, having brought through another player from the academy. ‘Once again I’m extremely pleased for Archie as I know how hard he works behind the scenes day in day out to develop. ‘It makes it more special Archie being a local lad from Dover and developing our home grown talent. He’s on cloud 9 at the moment after his first league goal away to Bath City and what a way to score your first goal. It was great to see Youngy in the build up to the goal and have that Academy connection filtering in to the first team.’

Congratulations, Hatch.


Whites kick off their National League South campaign.

Mitch Brundle’s side have completed their pre-season and now look forward to an opening day fixture at Crabble against Torquay United. The Gulls make the long journey east towards the south Kent coast to look at getting three points, having been relegated from the National League in 2022/23.

We now look forward to getting down to business in the league – Mitch Brundle

The Gaffer has made wholesale changes to his squad over the summer and will be looking forward to moulding a team with his own philosophy. If the team can match the personality and style on the pitch that Mitch Brundle showed then we should be in for a rollercoaster of a season.

Form Guide: NA

Head to Head:

The form book is certainly leaning towards a Torquay United victory but with the season not even a day old, the Whites will be looking to catch the visitors cold.

Image courtesy of


We are also offering a five game ticket. These can only be used by one individual per match and not in groups.

  • Adult – £75 (£10 saving)
  • Concession – £65 (£10 saving)

Admission for this match is by turnstile only. We accept both card and cash on the gate.

Adults – £17

Over 60 – £15

Under 18 – £9

Under 11s continue to be free with paying adult

We hope to see as many of you there as possible.



To the fans,

As we approach the start of an exciting new season, I wanted to take a moment to address you, and share my utmost passion for this club and my unwavering commitment to its success.

Our pre-season has been rocky to say the least but I am incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication shown by my players.

Together, we have begun to lay the foundation for what I hope will be a memorable journey ahead.

I am thrilled to welcome our new signings and am grateful for the opportunity to have built my own team. Their talent, skill, and commitment have already made a significant impact during our preparations.

They all bring a fresh dynamic to the squad, and I am confident that they will prove to be valuable assets throughout the season. Our dressing room is certainly united.

While the pundits may predict a challenging season for us, I firmly believe that we are capable of exceeding expectations.

Our club has a rich history, and in what will be its 40th anniversary season, it is that very spirit that will drive us forward. We have set ambitious goals for the season, and with the support and passion of the fans, we will relentlessly pursue success both on and off the pitch.

I call upon each and every one of you to be the 12th man, to stand united with us, and to create an atmosphere in the stands.Your support can inspire the team to perform at their best and push the boundaries of what you might think is possible.

Together, we will face challenges head-on, celebrate our triumphs, and grow stronger as a community.

As we gear up for our first game against tough opposition in Torquay this Saturday, join us in filling Crabble with chants of support, as we start on the journey of the 23/24 season.

Thank you all for being the lifeblood of this club, we would be nothing without you.

Onwards and upwards!

Yours faithfully,
Mitch Brundle
Manager, Dover Athletic Football Club


Lee Flavin steps down from his role as assistant manager 

We’d like to put on record our sincere thanks to former assistant manager Lee Flavin for his hard work throughout our preseason campaign – including his help with recruitment via his platform Non League Chance. His diligent work with our young players did not go unnoticed. We wish him every success in his future endeavours


Our new assistant manager looks forward to the new campaign.

We welcome Lee Flavin to the club as part of Mitch Brundle’s back room staff in the role of assistant manager. It’s a role that Flavin has held previously as well as a managers role with Sutton Common FC. Lee also holds a wealth of non league footballing knowledge with his company Non League Chance running for over a decade. Non League Chance is a showcase company to help football players at all levels improve and grasp opportunities to progress in sport, most notably football.

‘First of all I’d like to say hello to the fans and hope you all enjoyed your summer & our Pre Season Schedule so far,’ said Flavin. ‘We hope your all itching to get the first 3 points on the board just as much as us & having a good start to the campaign, We are nearly there and hopefully I get a chance to share a drink with some of you shortly.

I don’t think we can get a bigger league opener then hosting title favourites Torquay United on the first day of the season !

The first team has had a complete rebuild in terms of staff and players over the summer and at this level it’s really hard to adapt quickly to changes as big as these but the Gaffer has been very active in identifying his targets, getting them over the line and now the squad is starting to take shape. Last season was a tough experience for the fans, I hope this season will be a lot better and you see a lot of our managers traits/brand of football in the team we send out on the 5th.

I’d like to mention we have some top youngsters coming through the academy here at Dover having had a chance to work with some of them this pre season, so great work to the academy guys.

I’d like to thank all the staff who has been very welcoming and helpful in my time here so far and I look forward to seeing all the fans very soon in your numbers.

Lee Flavin
Assistant Manager

Welcome to Crabble, Lee.


Sesay signs for the Whites. 

Fuad Sesay becomes the latest signing for the Whites after impressing during pre-season. The young left back had been at Sheffield Wednesday last season where he had signed his first professional contract after impressing in both the U18’s and the U21’s. It’s another welcome addition to the defence following the signing last week of Michael Olarewaju.

Welcome to Crabble, Fuad.



Midfielder joins the Whites.

We are delighted to welcome experienced midfielder James Dunne to Crabble. Dunney was at Welling United last season where wore the captains arm band. Dunne started his career at Wimbledon’s youth academy, before moving to Arsenal in 2004. He was loaned to Nottingham Forest in 2008, where he made no first team appearances, He joined Exeter City in July 2009 after his release from Arsenal, and went on to make over 100 appearances for the club over three seasons. In May 2012, Dunne joined League One club Stevenage. He was loaned to Scottish Premier League side St Johnstone in 2014, where he won the Scottish Cup. He signed for Portsmouth in 2014 and joined Dagenham and Redbridge on loan in 2015. He signed for Cambridge United in 2016 and then Swindon in 2017. He moved onto Barnet and then Southend United before playing for Welling United in the 2022/23 campaign.

Welcome to Crabble, Dunney.



Another new signing arrives at Crabble. 

Ifeanyi Allen joins the squad to add more pace and attacking guile to the team. The former Yeovil, Torquay, Ebbsfleet and Maidstone winger can play on either flank as well as through the middle.

Allen began his career at 14 with Fulham before moving onto Barnet where he signed a two year scholarship deal.

Welcome to Crabble, Iffy.