JASON Matthews was both puzzled and flattered by bookmakers’ odds for the league title as well as Poole Town boss Tom Killick’s claims that Weymouth will be difficult to stop this season.
With some betting firms releasing their prices for the Southern Premier League crown earlier this week, the Terras are heavily fancied to be in the title shake-up at the end of the campaign.
One bookmaker is currently forecasting Matthews’ men as short as second fav-ourites to grab league honours, while heavy spending St Neots lead the market.
Killick claimed that Weymouth had strongly outbid Poole’s offer to sign an unnamed player, and that the Terras and Saints were the league’s financial big guns.
He also tipped Matthews’ squad to play a big part in the race for the top spot.
In response to the Dolphins’ boss, who also added that Poole will be targeting a play-off place as a minimum achievement themselves, Matthews told Echosport: “I’d take that as a compliment if Tommy thinks we are one of the favourites, I think that we are far from that.
“We have a workable budget that the club has set me and I would say that is probably in the top half of the league, but nowhere near what Tommy thinks it is.
“I’d be interested to know which player it is we have gazumped them for because our highest paid player from last season has gone back to Poole. I think it is a little bit tongue-in-cheek from Tommy.”
As part of their summer spending, Poole have secured signings from both Weymouth and Dorchester Town in former Dolphins’ captain Michael Walker and Magpies’ club legend Mark Jermyn. Matthews added: “I am new to this game but these sort of things won’t faze me.
“I have seen it a million times in the papers before. Good luck to Poole, I’ll concentrate on what we want to do at Weymouth and I’m not really too worried about what other people are doing.”
On his side’s short title odds, he added: “I don’t know what they base their facts on because we had an average season last year. We have signed a few experienced players, whether they feel that’s the reason, I’m not sure.
“Next season is going to be tough but it’s one we look forward to, I suppose we can take it as a compliment.”
NEW MILTON TOWN 3 WEYMOUTH RESERVES 1
WEYMOUTH Reserves kicked off their pre-season fixtures with a promising performance in defeat at New Milton.
Calum Dee gave the hosts the lead in injury time at the end of the first half.
Efforts from Sean Zima and Josh Tennant were well saved, while Gareth Will spurned a glorious opportunity to score.
The Terras equalised five minutes into the second half through Tenant.
Jake Richmond’s men were then caught on the counter-attack when Craig Barnett made it 2-1 before Milton extended their lead 10 minutes from time with Matt Odell heading in.
Terras: Park, Harvey, Staines (J Will 46), Butcher, Anstey, Chatterton (Pidgley 46), Beasley (Jackson 46), G Will (Chatterton 70) McClements (Nicholls 46), Tennant, Zima (Preece 46)
* The Terras entertain Romsey Town tonight at the Bob Lucas Stadium (7.45pm).