We have a great chance of having some success again this year, says Dover Athletic defender Jack Parkinson
DOVER ATHLETIC defender Jack Parkinson says the club have a great chance of having some more success this season.
The Whites finished in fifth-place in the Vanarama National League last season and were defeated by Forest Green Rovers 2-1 on aggregate in the play-offs as Chris Kinnear’s side and Braintree Town were two part-time clubs that finished in the top five.
Dover Athletic have started this season well. They are in the top seven with 31 points from 18 games and are three points adrift of Barrow in fifth-place.
“We’ve had a mixed start to the season. I feel we’re on track to repeat where we finished last year,” said Parkinson, 27.
“We’ve picked up points against most of the top sides and proven we can beat anybody on our day.
“There’s no easy games in this League because of the size of some of the club's and the journeys, but I feel we’ve got a strong squad and the gaffer has signed some good players and keeping the majority of last year’s squad can only help us especially the way we play.”
Dover Athletic sealed a comfortable 2-0 win over Bromley, but were sent crashing back down to earth when fourth-placed Tranmere Rovers came away from Crabble with a 4-1 win at the weekend.
“The Bromley game I thought we were excellent,” reflected Parkinson.
“I felt we were in control and it’s never easy going to Bromley, especially being a derby game and they have got some good players and it’s an ambitious club, so for us to go there and perform the way we did and keep a clean sheet was good and shows the strength of our squad.
“Saturday was disappointing. We were excellent in the first half and really took the game to them and was unlucky to come in at half-time 1-1.
“A few mistakes cost us in the second half and at this level, against the better sides, they hurt you and they did that but I think anybody watching would agree that the scoreline flattered them.”
Dover Athletic travel to Cambridge United in The Emirates FA Cup First Round on Saturday. The U’s are third-from-bottom in the League Two table with 16 points from 15 games.
“Saturday’s FA Cup game will be good and it’s one we’re all looking forward to,” said Parkinson.
“Cambridge United are a big, well-supported club but we know if we’re on it and on our game we will give them a good game and as you’ve seen anything can happen.
“It’s also a nice distraction away from the League for a week.
“It’s great to be in the First Round. I’ve been fortunate enough now to be at this stage a few times and looking back to when I was at Maidstone and beating Stevenage over two games the buzz it can give everybody at the club and around the town and to be in the draw with some huge clubs is something we all want to continue and try to repeat what Dover did two years ago when they lost to (Premier League club) Crystal Palace in the Third Round.
“It’s going to be tough though on Saturday. We’re under no illusions that it’s going to be anything other than a tough game. They’re a good footballing side and like to move the ball about on their pitch.”
One player who is attracting the attention is 17-goal striker Ricky Miller, 27, who is now at his 16th club of his career and has only featured for one League club and that was Luton Town.
Parkinson said: “We’ve got some very good players and players that could or should, and I’m sure will be playing in the League sooner or later, so it’s a chance for everybody to show what we’re made off on Saturday.
“Millzy (Miller) is getting a lot of attention at the moment and quite rightly so. His goal record so far this year is unbelievable and up there with the best in the country and the lads will tell you he works his nuts off for the team, not just going forward but tracking his full-back and doing his bit for the team, and to have someone in that sort of form is massive to us and I’m sure he will agree the lads around him Ross Lafayette, Ricky Modeste, Moses Emmanuel and Mitch Pinnock have all played a massive part in the amount of goals we’ve scored this season.
“We just need to tighten up a bit at the other end as we’ve conceded too many for our liking and I think if we can do that then we have a great chance of having some success again this year.”
Visit Dover Athletic’s website: www.doverathletic.com
Cambridge United v Dover Athletic
The Emirates FA Cup First Round
Saturday 5th November 2016
Kick Off 3:00pm
At The Abbey Stadium, Newmarket Road, Cambridge, CB5 8LN