*BS*James Rogers shared his delight with at returning to his hometown club after a 3 year absence, having played for Kent rivals Margate and more recently Dartford.*BF*

‘I never wanted to leave Dover in the first place if I’m being honest’ was the first response from the talented midfielder having put pen to paper until the end of the season. ‘I wasn’t playing much at Dartford and Tony Burman gave me the option to talk to other clubs. Once I knew Dover were interested, I did not want to talk to anyone else and I don’t want to leave again. I want to help this club get back into the Conference!’

James’ arrival coincided nicely with whites putting a halt to their four match losing streak with a 2-0 victory away to Bath City in which he played a starring role in central midfield. ‘it was good to help the team win. I was a bit nervous to start with, but having a shot after ten minutes helped settle me down.’*Q1*

In his previous spell at Crabble, Rogers, now 28, played left back, left wing and centre midfield, however in his second spell, he has set his sights on one particular position. ‘I want to nail down centre midfield this season. You need pace to play out wide and I’m not the type of player to go past people anymore. I like to be calm, pass to feet and let the ball do the talking. I also still play with an aggressive side, which Chris has said he wants to see from me!’

Many have been surprised by Athletic’s poor start to the season and none more so than James. ‘I trained with the lads for the first time and I can’t believe how good they were. There have been comments of long ball, but I’ve never seen such a quality session of keep ball!’ James added ‘It is a new team and it can take time to gel. The players here do not match the current league position – it’s all a bit false at the moment.’

Despite ten points separating whites from current table toppers Eastleigh, Rogers is still confident of promotion for his home town club. ‘All teams will have a sticky patch this season. The Conference South is a tough league and there is no reason why we cannot go on a good run. I expect us to at least get the play offs at a minimum!’

Home form will be crucial to Dover’s chances of success this season and is probably the main culprit for their inability to make a return to the National Conference. In fact, perhaps by coincidence, James departure saw the decline of ‘fortress Crabble which was so prominent in much of his time here. James understands why this phenomenon has occurred and in recent seasons. ‘It can be a matter of self belief. Though it does not affect me anymore, I was such a confidence player when I was younger and used to get really nervous before games. The fans can be very demanding and rightly so! He also added ‘a lot of teams tend to come here and sit behind the ball. It is sometimes easier to play away on the counter, especially if you have lots of pacey players like we have now. ‘There is no excuse for Crabble to not become a fortress again and I’m sure once we get one or two results here, then the momentum will build.’*Lpic1*

James who lives in Elms Vale and is a keen West Ham fan, currently works as a fork-lift driver and his boss is none other than Jim Parmenter! ‘When I was here the first time, my job had me travelling all around the country and because I was tired all the time it was affecting me. So Jim fixed me up with this, which is great and really helps with my football.’