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MAGPIES: Dorchester's united front set for Staines
DORCHESTER Town club captain Mark Jermyn has revealed how the changes at the club over the summer have “galvanised” the squad ahead of the new Skrill South season, which starts for the Magpies at Staines Town tomorrow (3pm).
Despite losing some experienced heads from the dressing room, Jermyn feels that having a smaller group of players has brought everyone closer together and he reckons the team can more than hold its own this term.
The 32-year-old has also called on the fans to give their full backing to the club off the pitch as well as on it as they enter their first season under the joint majority ownership of Shaun Hearn and the Community Trust.
A club record points haul in the league and a run to the second round of the FA Cup will be hard to top this time around but Jermyn, who is battling to be fit for tomorrow after missing all of the pre-season friendlies with a knee injury, is quietly confident over what lies ahead.
“It’s going to be challenging for sure,” he said. “We are not going to say we’ll be competing for the league, certainly not with our budget, but there is no reason why we can’t do well in the league.
“It’s respectable to finish mid-table in the Conference South with a budget the size of ours and we’re under no illusions it will be one of the hardest seasons for a while.
“Last season was very successful when you look at what we achieved – it’s not every year you going to be playing in the FA Cup on television – but I think we have got plenty to look forward to this season.
“We are not going into the season thinking we are going to be propping up the table – that’s not what Dorchester Town is about.”
He continued: “We are going to miss the likes of Nathan Walker, Ashley Nicholls and Jason Matthews because of their experience and we are a smaller squad but we are definitely a more galvanised squad.
“A smaller squad means we are playing together more and getting to know each other better.
“It will affect us at some point, more than likely around Christmas time when you usually pick up injuries with more games and heavier pitches.”
That reduced playing budget has come as a result of the new ownership structure at the club looking to build towards a more sustainable future.
And while some sacrifices have to be made in the short term, the hope is that the future of the club can be secured going forward.
“Having a low budget is the harsh reality of non-League football,” added Jermyn. “The way they (the trust) are trying to go with the club is admirable.
“It’s something the fans need to get behind and show their support for.”
Harry Bell (hamstring) and Calvin Brooks (groin) are out tomorrow, Arran Pugh (groin) is expected to make the squad and Jermyn’s fitness was being assessed in training last night.
Meanwhile, Alan Walker-Harris has signed non-contract forms with the club and is in the squad for Staines.
Magpies: (from) Sandercombe, Jermyn, Green, Pugh, Clough, Walker, Smeeton, Martin, Crittenden, Gleeson, Morgan, Beasley, Ward, Watson, Tennant, Way, Walker-Harris
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