I know, it shouldn’t bother me. We’re League Two now, and that awful little outfit from down south are nothing more than a distant memory, opponents that we faced during a nightmare from which we have now woken up. Dover Athletic? Who are they, right?
You know what though, I’m a vindictive man. I do hold grudges and in some instances I take pleasure in the suffering of other teams. Dover Athletic weren’t a nice team, and I’m not talking about on the pitch here. Ask anyone from the media teams that visited Crabble, and they’ll tell you the same. They would pull tricks like not give journalists the wifi password, and they would refuse entry one a whim.
Their chairman and manager didn’t endear themselves to Lincoln either, often talking disparagingly in the media about use. We made an enquiry for Ricky Miller, they rebuffed it and then set about calling us in the papers. They lamented our budget because we signed Raggett, and they showed no class whenever they turned up at the Bank. I’ve spoken before of crossing paths with Jim Parmenter (their chairman) in 2015, and I found him aloof and belligerent. There’s no need.
Well if you thought the loss of Ricky Miller was going to hit them hard, then you’ve only heard the very start of the tale. They offered new contracts to most of their squad, but amidst rumours of discontent, the side that finished 6th in the table are now facing an uphill struggle to put a decent team together for another tilt at promotion.
Remember Ricky Modeste? He played up front for them, a lumbering centre forward with a low strike rate but a good physical presence. They’d offered him a new deal but he turned it down, and he’s now gone to Billericay of all place to join Glenn Tamplin’s revolution there. Still at least they still have Ross Lafayette…
Only they don’t. The former Aldershot and Welling player had a decent season for them , scoring 12 goals. He’s not sticking around to play any more football under Chris Kinnear either, he’s swapped Crabble for Gander Green Lane and Sutton United. Is that a step up?
It may well be, as he isn’t the only Dover player to decide Sutton is a better place to play his football. Last pre season it was suggested that Ademola Moses Emmanuel might be an Imps target. He bagged 27 in 41 starts for Bromley in the 2015/16 season, and despite only starting 25 games for Dover he hit eleven goals, although they all came before January 2nd. They offered him a new deal, but he too has upped sticks and gone to Sutton. If I knew they were going to spend their FA Cup money on pulling Dover’s team apart, I might have cheered a bit louder for them.
Today it’s been announced that club captain Jamie Grimes has signed for Cheltenham after two years at Crabble. Grimes is an ex-Kidderminster and Forest Green player who, at 26, is looking to step up into league football. Once it became clear that wasn’t going to happen with Dover, he’s seized a chance to make it happen off his own back.
So it looks like they are right back to the drawing board, and although it won’t bother us one bit (unless the FA Cup throws us a duff first round draw), I had to mention it because, at heart, I am a bitter man.