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Ambitious Giancarlo Gallifuoco targeting Dover title tilt

By Mark Stokes

Giancarlo Gallifuoco admits expectations at Dover have risen significantly since the start of the season.

The 23-year-old defender was among a host of signings made in the summer as boss Chris Kinnear looked to regenerate his squad.

Some observers thought Dover would struggle to repeat their achievements of the previous three seasons but Whites have led the table three times and have barely been out of the play-off picture.

Giancarlo Gallifuoco Picture Tony Flashman

Giancarlo Gallifuoco Picture: Tony Flashman

That, says centre-half Gallifuoco, has forced the players to re-evaluate their own objectives.

The Australian, known as ‘GG’, said: “When I first came here the ambition was the play-offs but now we’ve gelled so well that everybody feels we can win this league.

“I think it helped with the pre-season we had. There were four or five games when we scored a few goals and did well, that gave us a base confidence and then we had those 10 (league) games when we didn’t lose.

“The fantastic thing about the squad is that we treat defeat so badly because we want perfection.

“We treat every game as a final and when you go in that changing room after we’ve lost, people are devastated. That’s the kind of expectations we have from each other.”

The former Torquay man has missed just one league game since joining Whites on a one-year deal and admits he could scarcely be happier with life at the moment.

He added: “I love it. I’ve had a fantastic time since I’ve been here, everybody has treated me well. The coaches saw a plan for me from the start and I feel like we’ve grown together.

“They told me the way they wanted to play and how they wanted me to play and on top of that, there was the (club’s) ambition.

“I’m an ambitious person and to have someone like Chris (Kinnear) leading your team with Jake (assistant boss Jake Leberl) and ‘News’ (coach Mark Newson), all of whom match my ambition and want us to go far, it’s a perfect match.”

Gallifuoco’s displays have led to rumoured interest from Football League clubs but he says his focus is doing well for Dover.

He added: “I’ve heard some things and I’ve had some stick from some of the players but that’s all stuff my agent deals with. I just focus on being here and trying to stay on top week by week.”

Whites came from 2-0 down to draw at Bromley on Saturday, a result which lifted them one place to fifth in the National League.

They host Hartlepool on Saturday and hope full-back Josh Passley will be able to play wearing a plaster covering on his fractured arm.

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