MAGPIES: No easy option for Simkin

CHANCE TO IMPRESS: Nathan Peprah-Annan

CHANCE TO IMPRESS: Nathan Peprah-Annan

First published in Local Sport Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

PHIL Simkin says he does not see the point of playing “easy opposition” during pre-season, as his side gets ready to take on Gosport Borough at the Avenue tonight (7.45pm).

The Magpies’ boss expects his team to get a good workout against Alex Pike’s Confer-ence South outfit, before an even tougher test on Saturday when Bournemouth come to town.

Dorchester’s players have not had the chance to ease their way back into things in preparation for the forthcoming season – last Saturday’s first friendly with Torquay proved that point.

And Simkin insists he would rather his charges play stronger sides to make sure they are equipped physically to meet the demands of league football.

“There is no point playing easy opposition and winning 5-0 or 6-0,” he said.

“It’s alright scoring lots of goals but if you’re not careful then you can go into the league thinking it will be easy.

“I always choose to play strong opponents because the result is not relevant at the end of the day.

“People can moan about results but it’s what happens in the league that matters.

“The season before last, when we had the cup run and a really good finish in the league, I don’t think we won a friendly.

“But we played Yeovil, Exeter and Brighton, some really good sides, and that made us a lot sharper.”

On the two forthcoming games, he continued: “Gosport will be a good test for us and Bournemouth will be a hell of a test.

“I’ve known Alex Pike for years and he will put a decent side out, and Eddie Howe will come here with a strong Bournemouth squad on Saturday.

“That’s what I want and that’s why you play friendlies.”

Defender Tony Rolls, who went on loan to Bashley last season, is expected to be added to Dorchester’s squad for tonight’s match.

And as well as taking another look at several trialists involved against Torquay, Simkin is set to give former Magpies’ centre-back Nathan Peprah-Annan a chance to impress.

“Nathan has been back and fore to us a few times but is a decent player and a lovely lad,” added Simkin.

“He has been training with us but wasn’t available for Torquay as he was getting married.

“Tony went on loan to Bashley for experience and has come back a lot stronger.”

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