Hessenthaler returns to Dover Athletic

Dover Athletic have confirmed the appointment of Andy Hessenthaler as the Club’s new manager on a three-year deal.

The 53-year-old, who has spent the past two seasons with National League rivals Eastleigh, replaces Chris Kinnear who left the club last Friday.

The new boss needs no introduction to Dover fans, leading Whites to back-to-back promotions from the Ryman South to the Conference South during his spell as player/manager between 2007 and 2010.

Chairman Jim Parmenter said: “We are delighted to be able to move so quickly to secure Andy’s services and we are now looking forward to working with him and his team.

“This is a brand new chapter for the football club and it starts right now.”

Dover will go full-time under new manager Andy Hessenthaler.

They were training two nights a week under Chris Kinnear but all that is about to change.

Hessenthaler, who signed a three-year contract on Monday, says Whites must get fitter to compete in the National League.

He said: “Dover haven’t got off to a great start this year but the chairman wants to go full-time.

“We’re going to change that and the players are going to be training during the day.

“I want to implement that straight away. That’s got to happen.

“There are players on full-time contracts so they’re not training enough.

“They’ve only been training two nights a week on their full-time contracts so they’ve got to be training four days a week plus playing on a Saturday.

“I need to implement that pretty much straight away and the chairman’s given me license to do that.”

Dover train at K Sports in Cobdown and they’re not the only Kent club based there.

Hessenthaler said: “Ebbsfleet are there as well so we may have to do ours at a different time but this is a full-time league.

“It’s a professional league, a tough league, and the players need to be fitter.

“We need to be training four times a week to make sure we’re right on a Saturday.

“I’ll be having a good conversation with the players on Tuesday.”

Hessenthaler has joined Dover from Eastleigh, who he managed for the final time on Saturday.

A compensation package between the clubs has been agreed with Spitfires chief executive Kenny Amor admitting: “Geography has won in this case.”

Hessenthaler, who lives just outside Ashford, confirmed location was a key factor.

“It wasn’t easy to leave Eastleigh,” he said. “I took over halfway through last season from Richard Hill and we were able to bring in three or four new players in the summer. It took us a little while but we got going, four wins in a row and six games unbeaten.

“It’s great to be back though. It’s closer to home and the biggest issue for me was family.

“I’ve got a young granddaughter and a grandson on the way so it played a big part in my decision.

“I live in West Brabourne so it’s not far from Dover and not far from the training ground either.”

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