MARK Jermyn may be on the brink of making his 600th appearance for the Magpies but he has absolutely no intention of winding down his playing career just yet.
The 32-year-old already holds the club record for the number of games in Dorchester Town colours and will reach his next milestone if today’s home clash with Dover Athletic (3pm) goes ahead.
However, Jermyn, who made his debut for the county town club aged 19 in October 2000, feels he has it in him to get to 700 appearances.
“I want to play for as long as I can and if I can stay at Dorchester I’d love to,” he said. “I want to stay for as long as possible, I don’t want to go anywhere.
“As long as I’m here and the club want me, then I don’t see why I can’t go for 700.
“I don’t see my playing career is anywhere near over. I’ve still got a lot left in me and feel I’m as fit now as I was five years ago.
“I don’t feel like I’m slowing down. I feel I’m still a good player in the Conference South and don’t see any reason for me not to keep playing.
“If we stay up, the team is going to need experience and, if we go down, then I’d like to think I would be comfortable in that league.”
Jermyn has experienced plenty of highs, and a few lows, during his time at the Avenue but the thought of playing 600 times for the Magpies when he arrived at the club as a teenager wasn’t at the forefront of his mind.
“When I came to Dorchester, I saw a lovely stadium and an immaculate pitch, they had some really good players coming through, and I thought ‘I’d like to play here’,” he added.
“I never thought I was going to play 600 times for the club. I didn’t think I’d be here for this long but, by and large, I’ve really enjoyed it.
“I’ve been lucky that the club has stuck by me and I’ve stuck by them.
“I’ve been through some bad times over the years when the club has been in all sorts of difficult positions, but it has got through them.
“We’re all hoping the club can come out of the situation it’s in now and be better for it.”
Last season’s defeat of Plymouth in the FA Cup, the victory over Tiverton that earned promotion to the Conference South in 2004, and his testimonial against Portsmouth in 2011 are the matches that stand out for Jermyn during his Dorchester career.
And his manager, Phil Simkin, paid tribute to Jermyn by adding: “It’s a fantastic achievement for him and one he should be very proud of.
“You won’t see it again the way football is nowadays.”