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Dover Athletic boss Andy Hessenthaler has high hopes for new midfielder Kurtis Cumberbatch

Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler is relishing the opportunity to unleash midfielder Kurtis Cumberbatch in pre-season following his summer move to Crabble.

The 23-year-old signed a two-year deal in June after scoring 11 goals for Southern Premier Division South side Farnborough last term.

“I’m excited by this one, we’ve been tipped off about him by good people in the game, the people I know and the people my coaching staff know,” said Hessenthaler.

Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler Picture: Alan Langley
Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler Picture: Alan Langley

“We had some fantastic reports back about the lad. I’ve seen good clips of him, he’s very athletic, he gets goals from midfield and I’m really excited by him.

“He’s a young one. He was at Tottenham, then he ended up going to Watford and I think he had a spell at Charlton.

“He’s been at some big clubs and he’s hungry to play at the highest level he can.

“He did very well for Farnborough and also had a little spell at Welling. He’s one of those where you’re going into the unknown a bit, but we’ve spoken to a lot of people in football that know the kid and they’ve said he’s got a bright future.”

Dover have made nine signings so far this summer and discussing his squad’s depth, Hessenthaler added: “I brought Oscar (Gobern) to Eastleigh with me, he’s somebody that has played at a real top level. He’s played in the Championship, he brings athleticism, he brings height.

“He’s a top, top lad to work with, I know what I’m getting from Oscar, he’ll be a great addition to the midfield.

“We’ve got Woodsy (Michael Woods) in there now, we’ve got Jack Munns, we’ve got Jai Reason, obviously Oscar as well and the likes of young Joe Bedford, who we will be continuing to work with.

"He has a great opportunity to stamp his mark in pre-season, along with Kurtis.

“We’ve got good competition in midfield, we’ve got Ricky (Modeste) who can play wide right.

“We’ve then got the four strikers and, defensively, we’ve got Bobby-Joe (Taylor), whose best position we feel is left-back, Josh Passley, Kevin Lokko, Doey (Scott Doe) and we’ve brought in Will de Havilland and Paul Rooney.

“Rooney can play right across the back four and even play in a sitting midfield role so we’ve got some versatility there.”

Dover begin their pre-season campaign at Bearsted on Wednesday (7.30pm) and visit Folkestone on Saturday (3pm).

They travel to Beckenham on Tuesday (7.45pm).

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