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Dover Athletic goalkeeper Andy Rafferty reflects on his first season with Whites after making the move to part-time football

Dover goalkeeper Andy Rafferty has time on his talented hands now the season has ended.

That means the former Hartlepool United man can reflect on his impressive first season with Whites following his September arrival after Mitch Walker got injured at Dartford.

And Rafferty admits he’s certainly experienced the highs and lows as he made the transition from full-time at League 2 side Hartlepool to part-time life with Dover.

Rafferty has suffered a broken nose, a shoulder injury, been sent-off and lost his place in the side following a death in the family.

But despite all that, the modest Rafferty, who is on contract until the end of next season, says the highs far outweighed the lows.

Dover goalkeeper Andy Rafferty
Dover goalkeeper Andy Rafferty

He said: “I have enjoyed the season and playing a part in what we have achieved this season.

"We’ve given a great account of ourselves and the foundations are now there for us to build on.

"It’s been a great season for the club and everyone associated with it should be proud of what we’ve done.”

Rafferty made his return to the starting line-up at Forest Green Rovers on Saturday after missing eight games after stepping down following the death of his grandfather.

He kept his 11th clean sheet in Vanarama Conference in the game and while he was happy with his performance, that wasn’t the case in the 2-1 loss against Lincoln at Crabble in March.

The normally reliable Rafferty was at fault for both Lincoln goals and admits he shouldn’t have played due to what was happening in his personal life at the time.

He said: “Myself and my family thought it would be good to continue to play as it could help take my mind off what was happening – it didn’t and in hindsight, I should have stayed away as there is certainly no hiding place for goalkeepers.”

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