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Dover aim high after top flight return

A fourth successive bottom half finish eventually did for Dover in their previous stay in the top flight, they are now back after just one season away, promoted in SL27 as division two champions, and this time they aim to stay for good. Success on the track was a must after Mark Smith’s big money exit after a decade with the club, and with the points limit being reduced to 44 for the new campaign, Phil Watmough’s decision got that bit smarter, his Smith’s 11.13 mark would have been too much to cope with on the Silkmen’s return to the highest level. Instead they can go with a solid top three of Pelcis Alexander, Ruben Hansen and Alexander Holden, the trio back after a successful end to SL27 in which Dover won their final four meetings in completing the second tier double, form which they’ve taken into pre-season, with the club again winning four out of four. Watmough has limited his changes to the lower end of the team, bringing in a trio of riders all of whom rode in the top flight last season. At £375,000 the outlay for 22 year old Sam Bray was excessive for a second string, but Watmough sees the former Swanage rider as the man to ultimately replace Smith in the team, he’s expecting great things from him in the future, scoring paid nine on his debut was a good start. Greg Robinson—third in the WU21 final in SL22—and Miko Maijala have joined on loan from Dudley Wood and Brighton respectively, the former the pick of those two to date in the warm-ups, with the 25 year old second string scoring in paid double figures twice already, including in Dover’s 37-53 win at Benfleet.


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