We do feel in house we do have enough to get through the play-offs, says Dover Athletic defender Jack Parkinson

Friday 29th April 2016

DOVER ATHLETIC defender Jack Parkinson says it’s brilliant that two part-time clubs are vying for promotion via the Vanarama National League play-offs.

The Whites welcome Forest Green Rovers to Crabble on Saturday evening knowing that they have already cemented their play-off place and are potentially three games away from promotion into League Two for the first time.

Cheltenham Town are already National League champions on 98 points from 45 games, while Forest Green Rovers (86 points), Grimsby Town (80), Dover Athletic (80) and Braintree Town (78) are in the play-off zone going into the last game.

“It’s been brilliant! A lot of people would have wrote us off at the start of the season when we said about our ambitions were to get into the play-offs,” said Parkinson, 26.

“For a part-time club in this division to do it it’s been brilliant so far, long may it continue.

“It’s quite surreal really, we’ve got a great set of lads that we play a different system to a lot of other team but it’s very affective. 

“In house we’re not surprised as to where we are. If we are to win tomorrow we could finish third so it’s been a fantastic season so far.

“Braintree are another (part-time) club that have had a fantastic season, got a good manager (Danny Cowley) and a good set of players. They’ve got a good system that works.

“It just goes to show the majority of the League is full time, there’s some huge clubs in the league and two part-time clubs are competing in the top five at the moment, it’s brilliant.”

Forest Green Rovers arrive at Crabble tomorrow, having parted company with former Gillingham player and Welling United manager Adrian Pennock in the week.

“It’s going to be tough tomorrow,” said Parkinson.

“I’m not sure Forest Green will rest anybody tomorrow ahead of the play-offs and it will be a tough game. 

“There’s still a bit to play for in our point of view. Grimsby are away to (sixth-placed) Tranmere. If we do win the game and Grimsby drop points we’ll finish third. There’s a possibility for home advantage but I don’t think it really matters if we finish third, fourth or fifth because the system we play, it doesn’t matter if we play home or away, it’s very affective.

“We’re just looking forward to it as a group really and hoping we can go into the play-offs, I think we’ve only lost one in 12 in the league recently, so we’re in a good form and hopefully we can carry it on to the play-offs.”

The Vanarama National League Play-Off Semi-Finals are two-legged affairs and the Final takes place at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 15 May (16:00), with the prize of staging League Two football next season for Chris Kinnear's side.

Parkinson said: “It’s funny, a lot of people ask me if we get to Wembley can you get me tickets for that.  It’s an old cliché, but the minute you start thinking too far ahead it all goes t**s up so we’re under no illusions.

“Whatever happens in the play-offs, it’s going to be tough and we need to do what we need to do in the semi-finals. If that’s not enough it’s not enough but we do feel in house we do have enough to get through and as they say only time will tell.”

Visit Dover Athletic’s website: www.doverathletic.com

Dover Athletic  v  Forest Green Rovers
Vanarama National League
Saturday 30th April 2016
Kick Off 5:30pm
At Crabble Athletic Ground, Lewisham Road, River, Dover, Kent CT17 0AB