MAGPIES: Dorchester need to keep core values

Dorset Echo: LESSONS CAN BE LEARNT: Alan Walker-Harris LESSONS CAN BE LEARNT: Alan Walker-Harris

ALAN Walker-Harris believes that Dorchester Town can prosper in the future if they manage to hold on to as many of the experienced heads in the squad as possible.

With Phil Simkin’s team on the brink of relegation from Skrill South, the Magpies’ keeper also feels that the harsh lessons learnt this season could benefit the club in the long run.

Barring any reorganisation of the leagues through the misfortune of clubs in financial trouble, Dorchester are facing the drop to the Southern League – only a freak set of results in the remaining games is likely to save them.

The side will continue to finish the campaign as well as they can, with Farnborough the visitors to the Avenue this Saturday.

As far as Walker-Harris is concerned, keeping the experienced core of the squad together – the likes of Mark Jermyn, Nick Crittenden, Jamie Gleeson and Jake Smeeton – is a must going forward.

“I think a lot has been learnt for next season, certainly on the forward planning and playing side of things,” he said.

“The management team and players have learnt as much from this season as anyone else.

“We’ve had an inexperienced team at times this season and with that comes a little bit of naivety.

“Hopefully people have grown and now know more of what it’s all about.”

He added: “It has been a steep learning curve for some but there is a good mix of youth and experience.

“When you have people in the dressing room like Jem, Smeets, Glees, Critts and Nathan Walker, people look up to them as role models.

“What you’ve got there is a good base to build from looking towards next season.”

Walker-Harris also backed manager Phil Simkin and assistant Stuart Heath to see the Magpies through any tough times that may lie ahead.

As for his own career, the Magpies’ stopper is not altogether certain where his future lies at the moment.

He added: “I don’t know yet, it’s a tough one. I’ve got a lot of affection for Dorchester but I’ve always said that Conference South is where I want to be.

“I wouldn’t walk away just because the club has been relegated. I would like to be at the club next season but it would be hard to turn down an offer to play in Conference South.”

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