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Life of Grimes with Dover Athletic captain Jamie Grimes

Pre-season is over – now it’s game on. But what an interesting first pre-season it has been since I joined Dover from Kidderminster at the end of last season.

And I am not just talking about the rigorous, no-nonsense programme we’ve all endured and benefited from.

There have been plenty of laughs along the way and it will take something special to beat the performance of one of my new team-mates at an especially hot session.

Dover captain Jamie Grimes Picture: Simon Harris
Dover captain Jamie Grimes Picture: Simon Harris

He, who shall remain anonymous, was complaining about how hot he was in his kit during all the running we were doing and he did something about it.

It wasn’t something like a get a cold towel or have a thirst-quenching drink either.
I was doing the run when he sprinted past me wearing just his boots, much to the amusement of all the lads.

He got a red card from the gaffer and quickly put his clothes back on but it was a hilarious moment. As for my own initiation, it wasn’t as outrageous as that naked run but it was almost as embarrassing!

I was quietly confident of my fitness and athleticism as I never struggled with running and always finished near enough the top of the pack in testing at Kiddy.

But that confidence was obliterated as I stepped into the first test, a simple but difficult speed endurance run.

I was blown out the water by Payney (Stefan Payne) and Millers (Ricky Miller) – they both beat by me by nearly half a pitch. Not a good first impression for the ‘new lad’.

Fortunately, I was saved total embarrassment by one player, mentioning no names again, who complained of seeing stars before laying on his back for the rest of the session!!

There has also been an attempt made, albeit a poor one, by Tom Wynter pretending to be a reporter (the Mercury’s Richard Harvey), wanting me to give my opinion on some of the lads.

Unfortunately for Tom, his Australian accent needs plenty of work and his own number came up on my phone. He (Wynter) is a comedian and is always making someone laugh. You need someone like that in a squad.

Now pre-season is over whether we have won, drawn or lost, we have all learnt important lessons that will benefit us when the season starts at Barrow on Saturday. We know the way the gaffer wants us to play and we will be ready to make a strong start to the season. Until next week. COYW!

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