*BS*JIM PARMENTER spoke to Justin Allen today, looking ahead to an exciting time for the club. Here is a transcript of the interview:*BF*
*BS*JA:*BF* Jim it’s been, obviously, another eventful week at the club. Let’s start with Jon Wallis – a fantastic signing.
*BS*JP:*BF* Yes, Jon’s a great player. We were very sorry when he left us before, to go and try his luck at Dagenham. We’ve been talking to him since then, we wished him well with that but something went wrong with the administration there and he missed the transfer deadline. He needed to find a club which was below Conference level and, despite being in the running with several other clubs, he almost immediately agreed to come and play for Dover again so I’m absolutely over the moon about that.
*BS*JA:*BF* He’s a player of some calibre and for him to choose a club playing in Ryman One, that’s a fantastic coup for us, isn’t it?
*BS*JP:*BF* Yeah, we are playing in Ryman One and we all know that but I think everybody recognises the club’s structure and its potential and I’m hoping that potential and structure will entice other players of Jon’s quality to the club in the coming seasons.
*BS*JA:*BF* Now, looking at the league form I think we’re unbeaten in six league games and before that everyone was struggling to see how we were going to even qualify for the play-offs, let alone challenge for second or top. Suddenly results have gone our way elsewhere and we’ve picked up form, and we’re right back in business.
*BS*JP:*BF* I hate to say the words but that’s football. I’ve been telling everybody who will listen through the season to actually calm down and keep a level head because our time would come.
Clive had 22 fit players training on Tuesday, which is a great asset to us in the run-in. We’ve got eight games left plus a cup game and possibly the play-offs if we don’t win the league.
What we’ve got is, unusually, a very big resource available to take on that challenge. I’m really, really excited about the next eight games and I think it’s the most exciting time for the club for many years because we’re on the shoulder, we’re coming up on the rails and we’re looking strong, which is absolutely great.
*Q1**BS*JA:*BF* We were speaking earlier that since you’ve been at the club there’s always been one thing after another, in terms of injuries and suspensions, and to actually be entering such a crucial stage of the season now with a fully fit squad, that’s just something we haven’t had, is it?
*BS*JP:*BF* That’s correct. Either fully fit or fully available. Clive was telling me he played 11-a-side at training on Tuesday and to be able to do that tells you everything you want to know, tells you the squad’s fit. It tells you they’re all turning up to training, all eager to play and competition for places is a great thing for the football club.
*BS*JA:*BF* Suddenly the energy is there, in terms of the positivity around the club – that’s something else that’s really improved as well, hasn’t it? There’s always been an element of negativity there but that seems to have evaporated.
*BS*JP:*BF* Well, I’ve always been positive Justin, as you know. Naturally people at Dover, as I’ve said before, do tend to take the negative view. That’s because of five or six or seven years of real difficulty and relegation, and all the rest of it.
But I’ve always been confident and so have most of the people around the club been confident, that this squad was very capable of getting out of this league.
I still think there’s a chance we could win the league. It’s going to be hard and it’s an outside chance but if we keep playing as we’re playing, and you’ve seen the results that have been happening and the fixtures other clubs have got… and I think Easter weekend will be extremely important with a game away against Fleet and at home against Hastings. That Hastings game could potentially be an enormous game for the football club and on Easter Monday – what a great time to have it.
*BS*JA:*BF* It goes without saying that I guess you really want all the fans to get to as many games as possible, certainly get to those home games and create a real cup tie atmosphere.
*BS*JP:*BF* Yeah, the gates have dropped a little bit. They do mid-season anyway. I’m just hoping the people of Dover and the fans will recognise what an exciting time this is coming up for the football club and really do their bit and get behind the team because it’s a great opportunity for us now.
I really do think we’re in with a great chance of doing something special in the last few weeks of the season. I’m looking around the camp, seeing Clive coming back into full fettle, the team and the squad buoyant in training, no injuries, no suspensions on the horizon and if the crowd can play their part as well, I just think it’s going to be a great time for the football club.
*Ppic1**BS*JA:*BF* Just finally, a word on the financial side there’s daylight that side as well – that’s progressing superbly, isn’t it?
*BS*JP:*BF* Well, the financial side is such that we’re clear of debt apart from the remaining overdraft. Cashflow is tight, as it always is at this time of year, because we’re getting towards the end of the season.
It’s important that, therefore, the gates retain or increase because we need to get to the end of the season in a positive manner in order to carry it forward for next season.
The club’s in good shape, and there’s no doubt about that, but we just need the crowds to come in to see us through the last month of the season.
*BS*JA:*BF* A final word to those fans, who are going to be attending those games?
*BS*JP:*BF* Come along and get behind us. Have a look at the fixtures, have a look at the recent results, have a look at how strong we’ve been. The opportunity we’ve got here, it’s going to be an exciting time so get up to the ground and be a part of it.