FORMER Dorchester Town skipper Alex Browne has been appointed head coach of the club’s academy, which aims to create first team stars of the future.
The ex-defender, who also enjoyed a successful spell at rivals Weymouth, has joined the staff following the departures of predecessors John Godbold and Dave Court, who have since moved abroad.
His first act was to bring in Terry Oldrid as coach and they, along with current coaching staff members Scott Symes, Matt Lucas, Brian Churchill and Portland United boss Chris Wilson, have been tasked with aiding the development of the county’s most promising prospects.
Symes and Lucas told Echosport: “John and Dave did a superb job for the academy but they have both moved abroad for work purposes.
“After discussions we felt it was important we kept the structure as it was and bring in another UEFA A licence coach.
“We approached Alex, he was pleased to meet with us, we had a chat about things and it went from there.
“He then asked Terry to assist him and they are adding to the team we already have.
“Alex knows what Conference South football is all about and he knows what it takes for the players to reach that level.”
The Dorchester Town Academy has been in existence for two years and serves 70 players from under-10s to under-18s – including the Magpies’ South West Counties under-18 side.
Among the main objectives of the academy is that by 2018 the Dorchester first-team squad will consist of at least five current academy players.
Two years after that, the aim is to see a larger percentage of the squad made up of those who have progressed from the academy.
Symes and Lucas continued: “No other club in the area is doing what we are doing. One of the biggest challenges we face is getting players to attend from clubs other than Dorchester-based youth teams.
“Those barriers have started to fall with players from Wareham, Wool, Weymouth, Poole and Portland teams attending, but we still have work to do.
“It is a historical problem that if a child attended an academy then they would be prevented from playing with their friends on a Sunday in their local team.
“This is not the case with our academy. All players are free to play for the team they choose, and any fixtures we arrange for the academy players will not interfere with this.
“We would also like to involve the various local youth team coaches in the academy and provide them with the opportunity to observe or get involved.
“We are looking to expand the academy to under-8s and 9s and more news will follow on that in the near future.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about the academy can contact Symes on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07826924769, or Lucas on email@example.com or 07966478695.