Dryden given all-clear to play cameo role

Tuesday 28th March 2006

James Dryden is hoping to have a cameo impact on Whites' chances of bouncing straight back to the Premier Division, writes Justin Allen - www.doverathletic.com

The Dover Athletic striker is gutted that his knee still has not properly healed but is prepared to play the final 15 to 20 minutes of games in a bid to help decide tight matches.

He said: "I cannot play for more than 15 to 20 minutes at the moment and it looks as though that is going to be the role I'll play now until the summer; come on for the final 20 minutes and hopefully nick a goal and decide some of these tight games.

"Clive Walker is leaving the decision to me on the day of a game. If I can't play, I won't.

"The knee is feeling stiff after playing and training. I am a bit concerned by it and the club are great, making sure I see the top specialists to get to the bottom of the problem.

"Hopefully I won't need any operation and it'll just need some good rest over the summer, and then I can be firing on all cylinders next season."

The former Folkestone Invicta striker came on for the final part of the 1-0 win against Leatherhead on Saturday, believes Whites can not only grab one of the four promotion play-off spots - but can clinch a return back to the Premier Division.

He said: "The squad is good enough to do it, even without me. We'll be alright. All the fans need to get behind us and we'll do our best, which hopefully will be good enough to get us out of this division.

"I think this is a tough league and the standard is not much lower than the Premier. This Dover team could sit mid-table in the Premier Division at the moment, that shows that the gap between the two divisions is not that great.

"We've got to channel all our energy on getting into the play-offs and then it gets exciting. And, as a Dover lad, I want to see us go up and give our fans finally something to cheer!

"Maybe I'll come on and get the winning the goal that takes us up. That would be a dream."

The club want to make it clear to fans that playing James for the latter stages of games is not going to cause any lasting damage to the player.

He is not suffering any ligament damage and scans are showing no major problems. Specialists have given him the go-ahead to play - although Jimmy will feel it for a day or two afterwards!