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New start for Walker-Harris
ALAN Walker-Harris believes that being released by the Magpies last season ultimately proved to be good for his career.
The 31-year-old was let go by Phil Simkin in February and apart from a one-off appearance a month later he was without a club until this summer.
A few friendly games for Totton and a run out in Poole colours against Yeovil followed before Walker-Harris rejoined Dorchester on non-contract terms, bringing him back to the club he has a lot of affection for.
Given the circumstances surrounding his release, not long after his comeback from a broken leg, Walker-Harris has also admitted that he needed to prove himself again at the Avenue.
“I didn’t like the way my time at the club ended before,” he said. “But then I didn’t have the pressure of dealing with all the things that go on at a football club.
“I went away to work on my fitness and strength and the time off from football probably did me some good.
“I got fitter and stronger and lost some weight and now it feels good to be back playing again.
“I played some games for Totton and Poole but I’d been approached at Dorchester’s presentation evening at the end of last season and was made aware then that they wanted me back.
“And with how I left last season I probably needed to prove myself again when I came back for pre-season.
“I do take being written off personally and looking back, I probably shouldn’t have come back from the injury when I did.”
Walker-Harris got back into the swing of things in the Magpies’ pre-season friendlies but new signing Tim Sandercombe was first-choice keeper when the Skrill South campaign got under way.
However, Walker-Harris was given the number one jersey for the Whitehawk match and although that turned out to be a nightmare afternoon for team, he retained his place for Monday’s draw at Gosport.
“I was never going to come back to Dorchester just for the ride,” he added. “I’m not someone who is happy just to travel with the team and wear the tracksuit.
“I was disappointed I didn’t start the first game but I was always going to push for a place and now that I have one my aim is to hold on to it.
“Conceding six goals in my first game back wasn’t what I expected but you have to chalk off something like that and move on.
“It was good to play again on Monday and get a point, but no-one has their name printed on the back of the shirt and you have to earn the right to keep it.”
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