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Protection for busy Magpies
DAVE Kiteley has promised to do all he can to protect his young Magpies from the rigours of five games in just 10 days.
Tonight’s Wyvern Challenge Cup semi-final at the Avenue Stadium (7.45pm) is the start of that arduous schedule and the Dorchester Town Reserves’ boss is concerned the busy period could do more harm than good.
A staggering run of postponements has triggered the pile up and it has even led to a bit of despondency throughout the camp.
Kiteley told Echosport: “I have never known a season like this – it’s unbelievable really.
“In some ways we might as well write the season off because to be left with 13 games to play in just five weeks makes a mockery of it.
“To ask 16-year-old kids to play three games in 10 days is a lot let alone five.
“Their bodies are just not ready for that and that is why I have got to protect them as much as I can.”
Dorchester and Wimborne are currently separated by just three points in the table but with the county town outfit holding three games in hand on their rivals in ninth spot, they will be seen as favourites to make it through this evening.
Kiteley’s side prevailed 3-1 the last time the two teams met at the Avenue back in September but Wimborne did get revenge with a 3-2 success at Cuthbury on January 5.
The Dorchester manager added: “It’s a semi-final which is great for the kids.
“For me it is not about results but I think it is always nice for the youngsters and hopefully we can make it through.
“Each player is supposed to have made five league appearances in order to qualify to play in this competition, but as we have only played 12 league matches so far this season the league has been quite lenient and given us special dispensation by dropping it to three.
“Even then it has still been a bit of a struggle but we have managed to get 14 lads together and hopefully they can put on a good performance.”
Jack Twyford and Adam Taylor remain long-term absentees while Dan Way is still a week away from returning from a hamstring injury.
On the plus side, Calvin Brooks, Alex Godfrey, Will Gape, Dan Peart, Josh Tennant and Aston Butcher should all feature and there is also a chance they could be joined by Jamie Symes following his return from a loan spell at Bridport.
The winners of tonight’s tie will meet .... in the final after they beat ..... last night.