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Returning Dover Athletic striker Alfie Pavey hopes to help reunite the club after signing for second permanent spell at Crabble


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Returning Dover striker Alfie Pavey is hoping to help reunite the club after signing for a second permanent spell at Crabble.

Pavey has rejoined Andy Hessenthaler’s squad after a productive loan stint in the 2021/22 season.

Alfie Pavey is back at Dover. Picture: Alan Langley
Alfie Pavey is back at Dover. Picture: Alan Langley

He scored six goals in 18 matches for a Dover team which finished bottom of the National League before being recalled from his loan by Maidstone late in March.

Pavey is one of three new players Whites have already signed. They have also brought in full-back Alfie Paxman from Folkestone and midfielder Jordan Higgs from Dulwich Hamlet.

“If we can add a few more signings, we really have got the spine of the side,” said Pavey who still works as a coach for Maidstone’s Academy.

“Alfie is still quite young at 24 but had a great season last year.

Alfie Pavey was contracted to Maidstone during the 2021/222 season but he struggled for regular first-team football with them. Picture: Steve Terrell
Alfie Pavey was contracted to Maidstone during the 2021/222 season but he struggled for regular first-team football with them. Picture: Steve Terrell

“Maybe we need another experienced one at the back and a couple more in midfield, and we will be up and running.

“It’s just about competing. We need to win games of football and unite the club together again and, hopefully, we can get in the play-offs.

“We need to make sure we do everything we can, including little things like going into the bar after games to talk to the fans.

“We were excellent at those little things at Maidstone last year.”

Pavey revealed he met Dover manager Hessenthaler prior to going on holiday.

Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Barry Goodwin

“I met him before I went on holiday. Obviously he said he was interested in me,” said Pavey who recently got engaged while he was away.

“He said they are back training three mornings a week, that suits myself.

“Although I’m 26, I think I come under the senior part of the squad now. I have got enough experience.

“It’s about giving these young kids support.

"They held their own in the division above so I think it’s going to be an exciting year for the football club.”

Joining the more experienced players in Whites’ first-team ranks for the new campaign will be Academy products Noah Carney, Harrison Byford, George Nikaj, Luke Baptiste and George Wilkinson.

Pavey has been impressed with what he’s seen from the young guns.

“They are good kids, they want to learn,” he said. “I remember being their age and playing with the senior strikers.

“So if I can help them in any way possible, then I will. Noah did his toe so I didn’t play with him that much during my spell last year. But in training, he watches a lot and he is keen to learn.

“And George put himself on the map with his goal against Wrexham.”

But he will not be playing alongside defender Danny Collinge who has turned down a new deal in favour of a move to Barnet.

Pavey’s previous permanent stint at Dover saw him arrive in November 2018 and depart in September the following year for Barnet.

While he is eager to continue to find the net regularly for Hessenthaler’s men, Pavey has found different ways to contribute when he’s not scoring goals.

He said: “I have never really set myself targets.

“Obviously, I want to score goals. As a striker, that’s what you are judged on.

“But I’m the sort of player - if I’m not scoring - I’m thinking ‘How else am I contributing to the side?’ People are always going to judge strikers on goals but you are not going to score every game.

“Other parts of my game are important as well.

“That’s what I’ve learnt, it’s not just about scoring goals.”

Dover are offering the opportunity for sports science interns to work alongside the club’s sports science and medical department.

If interested, email your CV and cover letter to Harry Towner at harrytowner1@outlook.com.

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