PHIL Simkin sees no reason why Stuart Heath can’t go on to become a successful manager in his own right.

The Dorchester Town boss made the former Portland United chief his assistant in May after Gary Borthwick stepped down from the role.

Heath took charge of the squad during Simkin’s recent period of personal leave and as well as commending him for that, the latter had nothing but praise for his number two’s future prospects.

“Stuart has taken to his job like a duck to water,” said Simkin. “He is a very good coach and a top lad and very popular in the club.

“He has been a tremendous success since he came here and I’ve been really pleased with him.

“Stuart was the best signing I made last summer, really top notch. I know he has enjoyed it and he works very hard at his job.

“I’m sure he will make a top-level manager in the future too.

“He’s still only in his late 30s so he’s quite young. He was a great success at Portland and I’m sure he would do very well as a manager.”

Despite only overseeing one match – a Dorset Senior Cup defeat to Wimborne Town – during his spell as acting manager, Heath imp-ressed Simkin with the way he handled the situation.

Simkin has had a difficult end to the year on a personal level but on the pitch it’s been a 12 months he’ll always remember.

“Just before last Christmas, I was caretaker-manager then Alan Knight came in and we worked well together,” he added.

“Then he resigned and I took over for the last few games of the season and carried on from there.

“I brought some players in during the summer, got off to a great start and at the end of September we were joint top of the league.

“The cup games then started and the league form, away from home, suffered a little bit.

“The cup run was tremendous and we should have beaten Luton in the FA Cup had it not been for their keeper.

“We finish this year with a lot of league games to play but I’ll look back on 2012 with a lot of fond memories.”

Dorchester’s final Blue Square Bet South fixture of 2012 is away at Bath City today (3pm) with the visitors going for a league double after a 2-1 success at the Avenue in August.

* Dorchester Town are holding a New Year’s Eve party at the club on Mon-day, from 8pm until late.

All ages are welcome with a buffet included in the £4 charge and children under 16 years enter free of charge.

Telephone Kate on 262556 or the club on 262451 to book your ticket.