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MAGPIES: Boss Phil Simkin wary of challenges ahead
IT’S not too often that Phil Simkin is lost for words, but ask him what his expectations are for the Magpies this season and you’ve more or less stumped him.
And that is understandable when you consider the task the Dorchester boss has following a summer of wheelinhg and dealing to assemble a squad for the new term.
While the likes of Nathan Walker, Jason Matthews and Ashley Nicholls leaving the club, Dorchester also said goodbye to striker Kieffer Moore, who was sold to Championship outfit Yeovil Town.
However, Simkin still has a number of experienced players in the changing room that will be invaluable to the team’s fortunes in the newly-named Skrill South.
“I don’t know what our expectations are,” said Simkin, who has also managed to add some fresh faces during the close season.
“Obviously we want to do well and we’ve got a good core of players, but we are at the mercy of injuries.
“When we put our best side out on the pitch we are capable of beating anybody but suspensions and injuries could kill us.
“No-one can foresee those things happening and all I can say is that we will be doing the best we can with what is available to us.
“If you speak to any manager the first thing they want is to get 40 points because that will keep you up.
“That will be our first objective but after that I don’t know.”
On the squad at his disposal, Simkin added: “All I know is that I’ve got a really honest bunch of lads who will always give their best.
“I’ve always been lucky to have a really good dressing room where everyone pulls together and that will carry us through a lot of things.
“I have got a lot of experienced Conference players but if they’re not fit or available we could have a problem.”
With a memorable FA Cup run and club record points haul, last season was one to remember for the Magpies.
And while immensely proud of those achievements, Simkin knows they now have to be put to one side to get on with the task at hand.
“We had a great year with all sorts of records which I’m personally very proud of,” he added. “But whatever happened last season has gone and we have to look forward.
“It’s been a very difficult pre-season but me, Matt Lucas and Stuart Heath have worked our way through it.
“All games are going to be tough but I think Eastleigh are the team to beat this season without a shadow of a doubt and there are lots of sides spending big.
“You’ve got Ebbsfleet, Whitehawk and Bath, who have spent an awful amount of money, and Dover will be up there again.”
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