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National League side Dover Athletic will be part-time next season

Dover Athletic are going part-time but it’s not put manager Andy Hessenthaler off the job.

With or without a points deduction, they may be seen as relegation fodder. But Hessenthaler is confident of putting together a competitive team for the National League and is looking forward to proving people wrong.

Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler will be recruiting players on a part-time basis for next season
Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler will be recruiting players on a part-time basis for next season

Hessenthaler will be going part-time himself and was given the green light to continue as manager next season by chairman Jim Parmenter.

“I wasn’t going to walk away - I just had to check he wanted me to stay” said the 55-year-old.

“We had a good meeting and we are certainly going to have to approach it a different way and go back to how they have approached it before really, being part-time. So we are going to have to go part-time, in a full-time league.

“There are two or three others that are still part-time, not many, but we are going to readjust.

“It is a challenge, it is going to be tough. We are still waiting on the decision from the appeal (over a 12-point deduction and £40,000 fine for stopping play this season) and I know the chairman has got a lot of legal people who have done great for the club, who have felt for us, doing it for nothing which is fantastic.

“I know there are cynical people out there who think we should be relegated but the chairman has done it to save the club and we have a club next year, that is the key.

“For me, as a manager, it is a challenge ahead that I will enjoy in terms of trying to prove people wrong really.”

Hessenthaler will talk with assistant boss Nicky Southall to see if they can work out a deal for him to stay. The duo have worked together for many years and the Dover boss wants that to continue.

They will also have to find somewhere to train. It's expected the players will be training Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights when they have no midweek game.

The manager will also decide on what players from last season’s squad to offer deals to, with options on some of their youngsters. Hessenthaler admits he is likely to be starting with a clean slate, looking ahead to 2021/22.

“It’s a challenge and we will look forward to that challenge,” he added.

More: Dover MP hits out at "unfair" treatment

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