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Gills striker Luis Cumbers could be set for loan move to Dover

Luis Cumbers
Luis Cumbers

Luis Cumbers’ surprise weekend appearance for Dover could lead to a loan deal being struck with his club Gillingham.

The highly-rated 20-year-old striker played 45 minutes of Saturday’s friendly at Sittingbourne before giving way to Frannie Collin at half-time. He returned to Gillingham after the game.

Last season, Cumbers was loaned to Ebbsfleet and prior to that Maidstone and AFC Wimbledon.

"We were assessing his fitness with a view to maybe taking him on loan," player-manager Andy Hessenthler explained.

"The lad suffered a broken leg and the Gillingham manager Mark Stimson wants him to get games under his belt. At the moment he has plenty of strikers for his pre-season friendlies so Luis has been on the fringe of things.

"We’ll have to wait and see whether anything further develops."

More pressing for Hessenthaler is the need to sign the experienced Nicky Southall. The manager and chairman Jim Parmenter hope one-year contract negotiations can be concluded by the weekend in time for Southall to be unveiled as a Dover player ahead of Saturday’s friendly at home to Wycombe Wanderers.

Though pre-season friendlies are a notoriously fickle guide to league form, Hessenthaler was nevertheless critical of some of his players after the 1-0 defeat at Sittingbourne.

"A few of them have picked up bad habits, which surprises me because they are players who have been with us for some time. They have got to rid themselves of those bad habits – and quickly."

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