CLIVE WALKER is looking up after the lows of Whites’ play-off final heartbreak – and has already been busy talking to new players.

The Whites boss confirmed he is talking to Conference South-standard players and hopes to snap up at least two, if not three, of his intended targets.

Clive released four players last week to make room for new additions to the squad, which will make it far stronger than last season.

He said: “I am talking to players all the time and we’ve got to persuade these lads to drop down a couple of leagues.

“Dover Athletic as a club doesn’t really need a lot of selling but obviously we’re in Ryman One and got to get out of it.

“As I said last summer, it won’t be easy – and that was proved throughout the season. Good teams like Croydon and Kingstonian didn’t even make the play-offs, which shows how strong a division it can be.

“We’ve got to win the division to get promoted next season – or finish in the top five and end up in a play-off lottery again, which we want to avoid.

“This squad needs building and there were certain qualities and characteristics that were missing last season, which we need to get into the squad for next season.”

Eyebrows were raised by some fans at the release of full-back Dave Clifford, who has publicly claimed he was informed of the news via this club’s website. That has been refuted by Clive and chairman Jim Parmenter.

Jim said: “It’s not true that we informed Dave of his release through the website. We sent him written notification and Clive also attempted to contact him as a matter of courtesy by phone several times, and left messages on his voicemail.

“It’s unfortunate if Dave first read the news on the site but a letter was definitely sent to him before any news was released into the public domain – and he failed to reply to Clive’s messages.

“Clive had to make some tough decisions, as do all managers at this time of year, and sometimes it comes down to more than just ability. There are so many things that make up a good footballer and ability is only part of that. The lads who have been released are all good players and we wish them the very best of luck for the future.”

The club will not rush into signing players and Jim has already stated we will bide our time before recruiting the players we hope to strengthen significantly our squad.