| 17 Aug 07
ALL aboard the Dover Hess-press!
Someone told me that's a cheesy pun. But, being a tabloid hack, I love cheese - and it's been melting big-time since Andy Hessenthaler became our manager.
When I was at the meet-the-manager evening during the summer, a fellow fan asked me how we come up with headlines.
I am not going to claim to be a great headline writer - but sometimes they just pop into your head - helped along by a lot of beer.
The truth of the matter is that great lines are created in the boozer.
After Hess was officially unveiled as our manager at a Crabble press conference, myself and fellow scribe Andy Stevens went off to celebrate at some of our favourite old watering hole haunts in White Cliffs Country.
I already had Dover Hess-press in my thoughts after seeing Mark Winter firing some questions at our new commander-in-chief.
Then, as the beer started to intoxicate us by mid-afternoon, Andy and I just kept reeling them off. We're Hess-terical ... Dover has been gripped by Hess-teria ... We've great Hess-pectations ... to name a few.
In fact, BBC Radio Kent's Matt Davison must have sensed that I was having a celebratory session, because he kept getting various presenters to phone me during the day, asking for my take on what was an Hess-torical day for the club. No doubt, he was chuckling away at hearing my half-cut tones going across the airwaves.
But Andy and I weren't satisfied at our stabs at coming up with the perfect headline.
Then, suddenly, I uttered the words ... Hess Club ... desperately trying to take it somewhere - and, within seconds, Andy clapped his hands in delight, finishing the line "Heaven"!
We're in Hess Club Heaven. Cheesy, some may say - but so were S Club Seven, and it didn't do Rachel Stevens any harm!
It has been a busy summer and the serious business starts on Saturday.
Horsham YMCA provides us with a tough opener. I've been there a number of time myself. John Suter, an old friend of mine from my days working on the Evening Argus in Brighton, has built up a super little club.
No doubt, Tommy Sampson's departure will have hurt them during the summer - but they will be up to spoil Andy Hessenthaler's first game as manager in non-league football.
Hess has already admitted it may take a few games for a much-changed Dover side to settle and adapt to Ryman One football.
But, one thing for sure, it's going to be fun watching the Whites this season. And if we can get on a roll, then the good times will return and erase all those bitter memories of the past five years.
Let's enjoy the football and hope that this will finally be the year we taste sweet success.
If that happens, I, for one, will be Hess-tatic! (Sorry everyone, couldn't resist one last pun!).
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or policies of Dover Athletic Football Club Ltd, its board or officials.
| Staff Profile
Has been a Whites fan since he was a kid and covered the club as a journalist when he was sports editor of the East Kent Mercury between 1996 and 1999
Justin now lives in Hove and works on the sportsdesks of The Sun and News of the World.
He also is a judge on the Kent Journalist of the Year panel. Brings you the news throughout the week and steers the website operation.