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Dover Athletic's former Gillingham striker Stefan Payne says he is thoroughly enjoying life in the Vanarama Conference at Crabble


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Stefan Payne only has two pairs of football boots – unlike his Dover team-mate and fellow striker Nathan Elder.

Elder has more pairs than anyone, according to Payne and he has no plans to try and match him in that regard.

Payne, the first of manager Chris Kinnear’s summer signings, has a pair for training and a pair he uses in a game and he’s happy with that. And his match footwear is starting to deliver.

Stefan Payne celebrates. Picture: Gary Browne
Stefan Payne celebrates. Picture: Gary Browne

The former Gillingham man has scored in two of his last three Vanarama Conference games, taking his tally to five in the league.

He’s also scored three in cup football, including the winner in the 1-0 FA Cup first round triumph against League 2 side Morecambe at Crabble.

Payne, who scored an impressive 31 goals in 46 appearances for Ryman League, Premier Division side, AFC Hornchurch, last season, said: “I love scoring goals.

“It’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time. My job is to score goals and I am real happy to start doing so on a regular basis.”

But it’s not only scoring goals which Payne, who played 27 times for Gills, is enjoying.
He said: “I am enjoying my football at Dover and that reflects in my play. Happy player makes for happy times on and off the field.”

But Payne is not getting carried away by his recent success and is happy to take it one game, one goal at a time.

“I’d love to get 20 or so goals this season but you can’t afford to start thinking like that."

“You’ve got to focus on each game and then move on to the next, regardless of what happens in your previous game.”

But talking of previous games, Payne did admit he’d watched his FA Cup goal, which was shown on BBC TV, a “few” times.

He said: “I was pretty pleased with it – it was well worth watching.I wouldn’t mind getting another winner against Cheltenham in the next round.

“But it’s all about what we do as a team. It does not matter who gets the goals, as long as we win.”

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