FOOTBALL: Bailey is thrilled by Holland signing

Dorset Echo: ISLAND SWITCH: Charlie Holland, right ISLAND SWITCH: Charlie Holland, right

GARY Bailey reckons the signing of Charlie Holland from Weymouth is just the tonic his Portland United squad needs.

Blues’ boss Bailey is thrilled to have Holland on board and the midfielder will be thrown straight into the thick of things tomorrow at Merley Cobham Sports (2pm).

Ben Doidge returns to the Portland squad for the top-of-the-table clash as the visitors attempt to reclaim first place in the Dorset Premier League.

Holland’s arrival comes at the perfect time for Bailey with Alex Halloran, Ross Carmichael and Carl Mutch missing tomorrow’s match through suspension.

“I’m pleased to get Charlie on board,” said Bailey. “He’s a young and fit lad with a good attitude to the game.

“He will be a welcome addition to the squad as new players coming in gives everyone a lift and creates healthy competition for places, which has been lacking in recent weeks.”

On facing Merley, he added: “These are the type of games we all like being involved in and you hope it brings the best out of the players.

“I was disappointed that last week’s game was cancelled as it meant waiting another week to get the poor Cranborne result out of our system, although coming back to a game like this suits us as the players know there is no room for error and they must perform to their highest standards.

“We go there with a healthy respect for Merley as they are top on merit and are the team to beat at the moment.

“The players have trained well this week and we will go there fully prepared.

“We know we will need to be at our best to get a positive result and everyone is looking forward to what should be a decent contest.”

Bridport Reserves welcome Hamworthy United Reserves to St Mary’s Field (2pm) fresh from their league cup success at Blandford.

“With a reserve side you never quite know what team they are going to put out,” said Bees manager Robin Townsend.

“But we’ve got our tails up at the moment and we’re always looking to get on a good run.”

Lee Sharpe’s fractured ankle keeps him out of Weymouth Reserves’ game at Cranborne (2pm), the side the Terras thrashed 6-0 earlier in the season.

Gareth Will misses the game with a broken finger and Luke Chatterton remains an injury doubt, but Carl McClements is back.

“When you look at Cranborne’s last two results and how we’ve played on village pitches recently, I’d take a scrappy 1-0 win now,” said Terras’ boss Jake Richmond.

“We’ve got to play better than last Saturday and tomorrow it will be more about heart and desire.”

Meanwhile, Richmond, who could have a few new faces in his ranks by kick-off, commended Adam Anstey and Sean Zima on their inclusion in the latest Dorset Football League squad.

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