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Dover Athletic defender Danny Collinge says players will not be using the club's part-time status as excuse for shortcomings in the National League this season

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Danny Collinge says Dover’s players will not be using their part-time status as an excuse for any shortcomings this season.

While the majority of the clubs in the National League are full-time, two who are not, Dover and Wealdstone, will go head-to-head at Crabble on Tuesday.

Dover defender Danny Collinge. Picture: Andy Jones
Dover defender Danny Collinge. Picture: Andy Jones

It has been a tough start to life in senior football for the ex-Colchester man who joined the Whites in the summer after a trial with Dover’s league rivals Dagenham & Redbridge.

Dover remain without a win this season and they are 20 points adrift, ahead of their match against Stuart Maynard’s side, having lost 3-1 to promotion-chasing FC Halifax Town on Saturday.

Wealdstone have fared slightly better, though, and they are eight points clear of the relegation zone in 17th after holding Hollywood-backed Wrexham to a goalless draw at the weekend.

Defender Collinge said: “You mention us being part-time but we are not using that as an excuse.

“I think we have a good enough group of lads to be competitive in any game we play. So we are looking forward to that game (against Wealdstone). I’m looking forward to every game I play.

“It’s another challenge and another opportunity to do well and, hopefully, to get three points.”

Collinge, 23, started his career at MK Dons and never made a first-team appearance with Colchester before he was released this year.

But he admitted: “I want to be playing men’s football.

“That is always the goal so, when you take this step, you have got to embrace it and keep pushing.

"I’m enjoying it, even though we are not getting the results at the moment.

“This is what I have worked my life for and, hopefully, there are bigger and better things to come - not only for myself but also for this club.”

A regular for Dover this season, he has played in front of nearly 6,000 fans at Grimsby - albeit in a 6-0 thrashing - and just shy of 5,000 in a 4-1 loss at Southend earlier this month.

When asked if playing in front of big crowds was helping him develop as a player, he replied: “I think so, yeah.

“As a young player coming through an Academy, I think you develop all the skills necessary in order to adapt and combat those challenges.

“It’s just about putting those skills in place and putting in good performances back-to-back, building consistency.

“I have full belief in my skill-set and I’ve just got to keep showing that on the pitch by putting in good performances.”

Read more: All the latest sports news from Kent

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