Walker remains patient with striker search

Tuesday 13th June 2006
Clive Walker reckons he may have to wait until the last minute before recruiting a new striker, writes Justin Allen – www.doverathletic.com

The Dover Athletic boss has put a prolific goalscorer top of his shopping list but believes any move may have to wait until just before the start of the season.

He said: "We are stronger throughout the field, apart from up front where we're a little bit short. I am looking to bring in someone who can play up there and get us some goals.

"But at the moment we're not able to get the player we want so it's going to be a case of remaining patient and seeing what develops.

"We were very close to bringing in a good Conference striker a few weeks back who was available. It all fell through at the very last minute. I am not just going to bring in any player - we need someone who is better than what we have.

"I have this feeling that we'll be waiting until just before the start of the season before snapping one up."

The Whites boss is delighted to have secured winger Byron Walker and central defender Matt Bourne from his old club Chatham Town  - and he stresses that neither will be making up the numbers at Crabble.

He said: "These players are good lads. They're very young but have a fair bit of first-team experience. I certainly expect them to both get into the team and compete seriously for their places in the side.

"We get a bit of pace in the side with these boys and that's always very important."

does not want to end up in a similar predicament to last season, where he was left looking to bring players in during the season after a bad spate of injuries.

He said: "We need a settled side and cannot keep chopping and changing. Unfortunately, last season, we had little choice. I believe we had the best squad in the division last season but unfortunately we drew too many games and had too many injuries.

"Hopefully, the side will be better for the experience and this will be our season. I've no doubts that Dover Athletic will rise again but we have to remain patient. There's no need for anyone to panic."

Meanwhile, Walker said striker Jimmy Dryden could play a big part in their promotion plans. And he hopes Jimmy's decision not to have an operation does not backfire.

He said: "It was Jimmy's decision at the end of the day. But now he's made that decision, it's important that he takes the intensive physio seriously.

"He will need two or three treatments a week. It will almost certainly involve building his quads and ligaments up, so his knee can withstand playing football.

"It's going to be intensive treatment and he will need monitoring all the time. I know from experience that you can get away with playing with physio - but there's always a risk. We really hope in Jimmy's case everything will be alright.

"I hope he'll be available for selection when the season starts - but he will have to take things easy on the training side of things."

Walker, meanwhile, says he has "not given up completely" on signing Chris Chase for next season.

He said: "I'm not going to say he's definitely not going to be here next season. The door is still open for that to happen."