BRENDON King is calling for fans to turn out in force to honour the tremendous service Ian Hutchinson has given to local football.
Tomorrow’s Bob Lucas Trophy clash, which sees Weymouth host Dorchester Town (3pm), will double up as the popular Teesiders’ long-awaited testimonial and both clubs are hoping to see a bumper crowd in attendance.
Hutchinson made over 550 appearances in a 10-year spell at the Terras before eventually going on to manage the club twice between 2009 and 2011 after cutting his teeth in the dugout at the helm of Bridport.
Commenting on the 39-year-old, King told Echosport: “Tomorrow’s testimonial is just reward for Hutch and all the service he has given the club and to local football as a whole.
“His family are coming down from up north for the occasion and his son Harry is going to be a mascot along with his niece and nephew, so it is going to be a fantastic day for him and I hope people come out and give him the support he deserves.”
Although Hutchinson is best remembered for his service to the Terras, the former midfielder also made two appearances for the county town and current Magpies’ boss Phil Simkin has echoed King’s sentiments.
He added: “I’m pleased for Hutch as he deserves this testimonial. I hope he has a great day.”
The Bob Lucas Trophy was devised in honour of Weymouth’s lifetime president, who sadly passed away in August 2010.
Like Hutchinson, Lucas enjoyed spells at both clubs but it was the Terras that won the first meeting between the two in this annual pre-season match back on July 30, 2011 when they triumphed 2-1 at the Avenue Stadium.
King believes the Magpies will be desperate to make it honours even and is looking forward to the showdown.
He added: “We won it last year so I expect they will want to get one over on us this time but in terms of our preparations for the new season it is another step up again.
“So far we have played a Dorset Premier League side, aWessex League side, a Football League academy side and a Southern League South & West side so it will be interesting to see how we fare now against a good Dorchester side from the league above.
“It is a great test for us and I am very much looking forward to it.”
Trialists Rob Farkins and Dan Smith are expected to feature again for the Terras tomorrow with King still in the process of trying to secure a deal for the latter.
He said: “I will be sitting down again with Dan this week.
“Other clubs are interested in him but he has enjoyed his time with us so far and I am hopeful we can get him on board because he gives us a completely different option.”
Meanwhile, Simkin remains hopeful of fielding Exeter City duo Jamie Reid and Jacob Wannell at the Bob Lucas Stadium – providing their loan deals are completed in time.
He said: “I’m still not certain if they will be available to play, it all depends on how quickly the paperwork goes through. If the paperwork gets done then they will play.”
As for the rest of his squad, Simkin is expected to rest any players carrying slight knocks, including winger Nick Crittenden.
The manager added: “We have got two or three niggly injuries and we are too close to the start of the season for me to be risking people.
“We have still got some trialists we want to look at as well.”
*The Terras will travel to Poole Town in the first round of the Red Insure Cup on October 16.
*Weymouth Reserves lost 2-1 in their latest pre-season friendly against Wimborne Town.
* Portland United take on Weymouth Spartans tonight at Grove Corner (6.30pm).
However, the Blues’ friendly against Weymouth Sports tomorrow has been postponed.