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Dover boss Chris Kinnear isn't ruling out Connor Essam returning to Crabble for a third time following his release by Leyton Orient

Dover boss Chris Kinnear hasn’t ruled out a return to Crabble for defender Connor Essam.

The 23-year-old centre-back was released by Leyton Orient this week and is available on a free transfer.

Essam has already had two spells with Dover. He moved to Crabble for the 2014/15 season after a spell with Crawley, having left Gillingham.

Dover manager Chris Kinnear Pic Gary Browne
Dover manager Chris Kinnear Pic Gary Browne

He skippered the Whites under Kinnear and led them to eighth in the Conference.

A successful trial with Orient last summer led to him joining the League 2 side but he was hampered by an ankle injury and finished the season on loan at Dover, making eight appearances, four off the bench.

Kinnear said: “It is a possibility but he might want to stay playing in the Football League.

“He did well for us and quite well when he played for Orient before his injury.”

The lure of the League could be tempting other players following top scorer Stefan Payne's move to Barnsley this week.

England C defender Sean Raggett is also believed to be attracting interest..

Fending it off could be tough but Kinnear believes his side are capable of improving once again, something that could help keep his successful team together.

He said: “You can’t stop people moving on or make them sign and that is what football is like. There is nothing you can do about it.

“You hope they can go further with you and it’s as simple as that. We will do what we always do and that is to keep improving. A lot of lads haven’t played higher than this and everyone is settled."

Kinnear is currently in discussions with members of the squad as well as looking at new recruits and is due to announce his retained list soon.

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