Three reasons why Dover Athletic will win the FA cup

by admin

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Non league sides are always a force to be reckoned with in the FA cup, some call it the ‘spirit of the cup’, some say that these teams have nothing to lose, but maybe, just maybe, some of these teams can PLAY football. I find it a brilliant prospect to see non-league opposition against a league opponent. We can all think back to Havant and Waterlooville against Liverpool and truly say the best team won. But why Dover? What makes them so special? Well I’m here to tell you why.

1. They have a prolific goal scorer in Adam Birchill

In Birchill, they have a striker who has already scored 11 goals in 6 FA cup games. Not even premier league players can post stats like that. So far in their FA campaign Birchill scored a screamer against League 1 outfit Gillingham, and then followed that up with a double against League 2 side Aldershot. What he lacks in height, he makes up with sheer speed and technical ability, something which he would have learnt playing in the youth system at Arsenal. He has international experience with the Wales U21, and in my personal opinion, any player who is able to score for them, which he has (twice), is one talented player.

2. Martin Hayes is a manager who has been around the block

After having a successful stint at Arsenal as a winger and other highly regarded clubs such as Romford (*cough*) Hayes made his managerial debut at Bishops Stortford, and managed to get the club into the Blue Square South for the first time in the clubs history. After that he got Wingate & Finchley to the highs of Division One North in the Isthiman League, before he was brought to Dover FC. Although his previous managerial is entirely in non-league football, he is clearly able to get the best out of the squad he has in front of him. Although a few experienced footballers have failed in managerial roles, think back to Paul Gascoigne’s Kettering Town stint, Hayes has a proven track record, something which can only be a good thing for Dover.

3. Dover are a club on the rise

Without question, Dover is a club that have shot out of nowhere to be a force to be reckoned with in the non-league pyramid. After winning promotion in 2008 from the Division One South Isthmian League, in style I’d like to add, they managed to take the Isthiman Premier title at the first time of asking and now sit one point off the playoff places in the Conference South, with 2 games in hand because of their FA cup run. With regards to their FA cup run, this year has been their best yet and now face a tasty draw against League 1 high-flyers Huddersfield. The impossible dream, may just come true.

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