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Dover's Michael Woods on Andy Hessenthaler and what attracted him to Crabble

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New signing Michael Woods sees no reason why Dover can’t be among the promotion contenders this season.

Whites enjoyed a nine-game unbeaten finish to 2018/19 and the former Harrogate midfielder is confident Andy Hessenthaler’s team can push for a play-off berth this term.

Woods is one of eight new faces to arrive at Crabble so far this summer, the latest being striker Steven Rigg from Gateshead.

Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Alan Langley
Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Alan Langley

“I’ve seen it before with clubs like Harrogate,” he said. “I joined in November and we were getting crowds of 1,100-1,200 on a cold Tuesday night.

“People were saying it wasn’t sustainable and looking at Harrogate saying ‘you can write them off, they’re going to blow up’.

“Week on week, they proved people wrong.

“I think the sky is the limit. If you haven’t got that belief then what’s the point in playing in the first place?”

Woods is relishing the chance to work with Hessenthaler, having been close to playing for him earlier in his career.

“It was nice to get it done early, the interest came about quite quickly,” said Woods.

“I was out of contract. It was quite well documented I wasn’t going to stay on at Harrogate, so there was a bit of interest from a few different clubs.

“I almost signed for Hess two or three years ago when he was manager at Leyton Orient. There were a couple of lads at Harrogate who have played for him in the past. That was quite a big pull.

“My partner works out of the airports down South as well so geographically that ticked a box.

“I’m buzzing to get it done early when a few clubs seem to be dragging with their business. I’m excited for the next few years.

“As a player you do your homework on who you’re going to work for. I spoke to as many people as I could that have played for him. I think the most telling thing is the style of play he prefers and the way he goes about his work.

“He’s added to the squad, strengthened in certain areas and hopefully supplemented the lads that are already there.

“I’ve heard his sessions are hard week in, week out. He’s got a good group of lads there and it gets rewards.”

Woods is keen to replicate the all-action influence that saw him register11 goals and six assists for Hartlepool across the 2017/2018 campaign.

“I do like to get box-to-box, I like to get in the final third,” he explained.

“I had a bit of a hit-and-miss season last season but I believe I can score goals at this level.

“I like to get my foot in and I like to be able to get forward and get in the box.”

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