ANDY HESSENTHALER expects Jon Wallis to make a decision about his future within the next few days.
The Whites boss said the club could not have done anymore to persuade the midfield star to sign a new contract - and insists that talks with him went extremely well.
Wallis has had an offer from a Football League club but is mindful of what happened last season when he signed for League Two side Hereford United.
He did not get a look-in at Edgar Street - and went on to enjoy his best football at Dover Athletic.
Hess said: "The chairman, Jim Parmenter, and I could not have done anymore to sell Dover Athletic to Jon. We felt talks went very well from our point of view.
"Jon is a top-quality player who is better than this level. I know that, he knows that and most people out there know that.
"However, he had a bad experience at Hereford last year and enjoyed himself a lot at Dover, playing his best football and, more important, regularly.
"Even when he went to Dagenham on loan earlier in the year, he only got a few minutes here and there.
"Jon is young and time is on his side. I told him that I was about 26 when my career got a kickstart - and finally got my big break in the Football League.
"It could be better for Jon to stay with us for a season, I'll make him a better player and then we'll probably lose him next summer. But we'll all benefit from it.
"However, Jon does have another option at a higher level - so that goes against us. But the fact he had a great time with us and that he knows his football could benefit from playing regularly here for a year is a positive for us.
"We've given Jon some time to make his decision. He knows I've got to start assembling a squad - but we've given him the weekend and a few days this week to make a decision. I should have an answer within the next couple of days - but signing him would complete our central midfield."
Fans have expressed concerns about the club not signing any new players yet - but that is not strictly true. Dover have signed a new player - Andy Hessenthaler!
Hess said: "I'll be playing in the centre and hopefully with Jon - so that's a good start. That will be two positions nailed down.
It could be better for Jon to stay with us for a season, I'll make him a better player and then we'll probably lose him next summer
"I've also held talks with a top-quality striker. He's gone away on holiday and we'll be sitting down with him when he returns.
"He's also got other options at a higher level. All the players we've spoken to have other options - because they're good players. That's the nature of the beast.
"But we're not worried. There's no panic from me or the chairman. We've got bags of time and there are plenty of trailists who will be reporting to pre-season training next month.
"One thing we don't want to do is blow our budget now and then, suddenly, we come across a few gems in pre-season - but can't afford to sign them."
Sam Vallance has left the club, joining Ramsgate. Hess said he could not offer the player a new contract as he had not seen him play.
He said: "I spoke with Sam and told him that he'd need to come to pre-season training and show me what a good player he was.
"However, I did tell the kid that if he had other options, then he was very welcome to explore them, as I could not guarantee offering him anything here."
Chairman Jim Parmenter said: "We're taking our time on assembling a squad. Not only do players we're talking to have options, but we, as a club, also have a lot of options.
"There's no point us rushing things. I'd rather we took our time to sign the right players. The past two seasons, we've had a squad nailed down in June - but this time around we're thinking more about going into July and August before we've completed our squad building.
"Andy has a lot of trialists coming down next month and we're talking to a lot of players at the moment. We're ambitious and want the right players in our squad next season to take this club forward."
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