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Dover Athletic boss Andy Hessenthaler praises goalkeeper Lee Worgan and discusses potential loan departures

ByCameron Hogwood

Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler has hailed Lee Worgan as the best goalkeeper in the National League.

The 35-year-old, who is also Whites’ goalkeeper coach, has been in outstanding form since taking over from Mitch Walker during the second half of last season.

Saturday’s win at Harrogate saw the ex-Maidstone skipper pull off two crucial saves to secure his and Dover’s second clean sheet of the campaign.

Dover goalkeeper Lee Worgan. Picture: Alan Langley
Dover goalkeeper Lee Worgan. Picture: Alan Langley

Hessenthaler said: “For me he’s the best goalkeeper in this division by a mile. I haven’t told him that because I don’t want to let him get carried away with himself.

“He’s got everything, he’s a sweeper-keeper, he can handle the ball at his feet, he’s a great shot-stopper, but the biggest thing for me is his decision-making has been very good.

“He’s been fantastic and he just seems to be getting better with age.”

Worgan’s performances have meant a difficult start to life at Crabble for Yusuf Mersin, who signed in the summer on the back of his release at League 2 side Crawley Town.

Hessenthaler added: “Yusuf was a bit down at the start when I decided to go with Worgs but he’s come to terms with that.

“He’s working hard and we know how football can change. That’s what we brought him in for, to challenge.

“He’s got to bide his time. At the moment Worgs has got the shirt and is doing well, but his (Mersin’s) attitude has been good. He’s been first-class.

“He’ll look at that Saturday and go ‘blimey’ at some of Worgan’s decision-making and some of the saves. He can only learn from that.”

Youngsters Marshall Wratten and Joe Bedford have also seen opportunities hard to come by in light of the competition for places across the pitch.

Hessenthaler has admitted he is open to the pair leaving on a temporary basis in search of first-team experience.

He explained: “They’ve been fine. They understand that when the team is winning and doing well it’s difficult. They’re going to need games and I have put them both up to go on loan at some stage and we’re looking at that option.

“At the moment we’ve had no interest but we’ll see what comes up. Hopefully we can get them out and get them some game time.”

Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Alan Langley
Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler. Picture: Alan Langley

Dover were without five first-team squad members in North Yorkshire at the weekend, with Alfie Pavey, Bobby-Joe Taylor and Aaron Simpson all struggling with injuries.

“They’re on the mend,” said Hessenthaler. “Bobby-Joe Taylor and Aaron Simpson are probably another couple of weeks away.

“Bobby’s is an ankle injury, which was a bad one to be fair. Aaron’s is a medial ligament injury in his knee so it’s taking a bit longer.”

After playing out a 1-1 draw with Ebbsfleet at Crabble on Tuesday night, Dover head to Boreham Wood this Saturday.

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