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Dover Athletic confirm appointment of 28 year old player turned manager

Dover Athletic confirm the appointment of 28 year old player turned manager Mitch Brundle, making him one of the youngest bosses in the UK.

He and Mike Sandmann were joint-interim managers after Andy Hessenthaler went back League Two strugglers Gillingham, taking the head of recruitment role.

But days after their 2-1 home loss against Ebbsfleet United, Brundle is officially the new permanent manager, with the club sitting 16th, with 31 points from 26 games played.

Credit: Dover Athletic

DOVER STATEMENT:

We welcome our new gaffer to Crabble. 

Mitch Brundle has put pen to paper on an 18 month minimum contract with the option of an extension. The player turned manager will be the youngest coach in the dugouts in the UK, narrowly pipping ex Tottenham Hotspur interim manager Ryan Mason, who was 29 when asked to step in. The 28 year old is already looking forward to getting started and has plans in full swing after taking the role on a temporary basis following the departure of the outward departing Andy Hessenthaler.

The new gaffer said: ‘I am over the moon to be given this opportunity. I love this club and have always given everything both on and off the pitch. The football club means a lot to me and I am looking forward at putting my own stamp on things.’

The chairman was delighted with the appointment and was looking forward to the club going in a different direction on the pitch. ‘Mitch has done really well since he took the reigns. The teams performances in the last three games show that we will have a bright future under his leadership along with Mike Sandmann.’

Football doesn’t stand still for long and with the ink hardly dry on his contract, our new manager has two games in the space of five days to prepare for. First up a Kent Cup match away to Chatham Town followed by a home game at Crabble against high flying Havant & Waterlooville.

Good luck Mitch. Onwards and upwards.

More about Mitch:

Croyldon born Brundle joined the then-League One club Yeovil Town in May 2011 as a first year scholar. He had previously been a member both of Millwall’s youth systems and Cambridge United’s youth systems.

After completing his two-year scholarship, he was released with his fellow scholars.

Brundle signed with League One club Bristol City after his release from Yeovil.

Brundle joined League Two club Cheltenham Town as a loanee on the 31st January 2014.

Brundle’s EFL debut was made against Newport County in a 1-0 win on the 22nd of February 2014.

Brundle, who had made seven appearances for League Two at Cheltenham during his loan spell, has returned to Cheltenham.

After failing to make an appearance, Brundle was released from Bristol City at the close of the 2013-14 season.

Brundle signed a one year contract with Conference Premier club Braintree Town on the 30th of July 2014.

Brundle was on loan from Hemel Hempstead Town in January 2016 to join the National League South club Hemel Hempstead Town for a month.

Brundle signed a one year contract with Braintree’s National League counterpart, Gateshead, in June 2016. After just one season, Gateshead released Brundle.

Brundle signed a two-year contract with Dover Athletic, a fellow National League club, after his release from Gateshead.

In June 2019, he signed for Dover’s National League rivals, Dagenham & Redbridge on a 2-year contract. Following the expiration his contract, he was released by the Daggers with five other people in June 2021.

Brundle signed a two year contract with Barnet in July 2021. He then left the club by mutual consent in January 2022.

He joined Farnborough the following month. Brundle was promoted to Farnborough, but he was forced to leave the club at the end his contract.

Brundle, who was playing assistant manager and player for Dover Athletic, returned to Dover Athletic in July 2022 after their relegation from the National League South. After Andy Hessenthaler’s departure in January 2023 Andy Brundle was appointed joint-caretaker manager of the first-team. Mike Sandmann was then named their permanent manager.

2012–2013 – Yeovil Town
2013–2014 – Bristol City 
2014 → Cheltenham Town (loan) – 7 games (0 goals)
2014–2016 – Braintree Town – 87 games (7 goals)
2016 → Hemel Hempstead Town (loan) – 4 games (0 goals)
2016–2017 – Gateshead – 37 games (3 goals)
2017–2019 – Dover Athletic – 101 games (13 goals)
2019–2021 – Dagenham & Redbridge – 51 games (13 goals)
2021–2022 – Barnet – 24 games (3 goals)
2022 – Farnborough – 16 games (0 goals)
2022–2023 – Dover Athletic – 14 games (0 goals)

SEE MORE: Yaxley appoint the youngest manager in the UK

This is what fans had to say as Dover Athletic confirm the appointment of a 28 year old player turned manager, the youngest in the top six tiers of English football…

@AFCPickett0712: Good luck to him, great to see such a young manager getting a chance

@jamie_dafc: Wishing you the best of luck Mitch hope it works out

@gazmorgo: The football has already been 100% better than the tripe Hess was serving up. Congratulations to @MitchBrundle

@pearcey33: Congratulations Mitch 🙌

@JamesNesbitt92: Mitchy Brundle’s Black and White Army ⚫️⚪️

@joe12906: Really pleased for him! The right choice, so let’s get behind him 😎👍

@daniel_fletch95: The cheap option, to be expected, he can’t be worse than what just left, and we needed a young manager with new ideas. Interesting to see how this goes

@NeilCare: No arguments from me on this appointment. Congratulations @MitchBrundle I have no doubt that together with @MikeSandmann we can now start to re-build and push on.

@awlshw: Good luck to him. Can’t be any worse than the previous bloke.

@beespod: Brundle as gaffer, Pavey up top. Absolutely iconic.

@Thomasjtaylor92: Makes me feel old at nearly 31

@JoelPage_11: Christ. As far from a leader as possible when with us let alone ever being seen as a manager.

@OwlerJay: Why couldn’t we get someone with a bit more experience. Who are we going to recruit next season to work under a 28-year-old? The standards have really dropped at this club

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