JASON Matthews has officially announced the appointment of Craig Laird as his assistant-manager.

The former Weston-super-Mare and Bridgwater Town boss has been working with the Terras over the last two weeks in pre-season, and will now become a permanent fixture of the Weymouth backroom staff.

Speaking about his new number two, the father of Terras’ defender Jamie Laird, boss Matthews told Echosport: “Craig has come in for the last two games and he has had a big input on training, he is coming here for the right reasons and we are delighted to have him. It gives us some experience that we knew we lacked.

“With myself playing it is not straight forward and sometimes you need an experienced person on the touchline. It was a case of not rushing and bringing in the right man.

“I admired the way Weston played under him, Craig rang me and asked me to do a bit of coaching. We had a look at him over the last two weeks and he fits the bill perfectly.”

With Laird now officially on board, Matthews’ squad will turn their attentions to tonight’s pre-season friendly against Portland United (7pm).

The Terras player-manager added: “It’s another game and a local derby, Portland will want to give a good showing against us and it is important that we help the local clubs and build good relationships with them.”

New signing Jacob Wannell is set to feature in his first game for the club.

Blues’ boss Gary Bailey is hoping his side can provide a good test for the Terras and is looking forward to the chance to test his Dorset Premier League title winning squad.

He added: “It is always a good fixture and we look forward to it as a club every year.

Weymouth are good enough to come over and give us a game, obviously there is a bit of a gulf in class but it’s a good occasion for the club and the players enjoy having a good test.

Elsewhere, Weymouth Reserves face a trip to New Milton Town this evening (7.45pm).