NATHAN Walker insists he is ready to lead Dorchester Town into next season, but knows that the man he succeeded as club captain is going to be a hard act to follow.

Following his appointment by boss Phil Simkin, the central defender has described taking over the captaincy from Mark Jermyn as a “massive honour”.

However, Walker realises he has a lot to live up to after taking on the skipper’s armband from a Magpies’ legend.

“Phil made contact with me after Mark left and said he would like me to be the captain for next season,” said Walker.

“I wasn’t going to turn down the chance of being my club’s captain and it’s a massive honour to do so.

“It was nice to know that Phil wanted me and now I’ve got to show I’m worthy of being our captain.

“It’s going to be a hard job following on from Mark because he is a club legend, but hopefully I can step up to the plate and lead the team as well as he did.

“Mark is a friend of mine and he was a fantastic captain, player and servant to Dorchester over the years.

“It’s sad to see him go because he had a lot of success as captain, like the FA Cup win against Plymouth and leading the team to its highest points tally in Conference South.”

Walker’s top priority is to return to Conference South football as soon as possible, though he recognises that won’t be easy.

He added: “I want to get Dorchester back there and, as captain, that would be a great achievement.

“But I played in the Southern Premier League for part of last season and there are some very good sides in there.

“It’s a hard league to get out of, as Weymouth found out, and it’s going to be a right battle when we play them and Poole.

“If we can go back up it would be brilliant, but it’s going to be hard.”

The 27-year-old, a captain for Simkin in his younger days at Hamworthy United, is well known for his physical approach to the game.

At times he has been known to let his over-exuberance get the better of him, and that is something he is going to try and rein in as captain.

“I know some supporters think I’m a bit hot-headed,” he said. “I’ve lost my cool a couple of times but I know I can’t afford to do that now as captain.

“I’ve got to take a step back and be there for my team-mates.