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Walker-Harris targets Magpies' return
AS he continues on the road to recovery, injured keeper Alan Walker-Harris insists that Dorchester Town fans have not seen the last of him.
The 30-year-old was enjoying an impressive debut season at the Avenue Stadium before disaster struck in the dying seconds of last month’s victory over promotion hopefuls Dartford.
The county town gloveman suffered a broken leg following a poor challenge from visiting defender Luke Wilkinson and after supporters dug deep to raise £300 for the self-employed decorator, he is determined to bounce back.
He told Echosport: “The club have been very good to me and people are still phoning to check up on me, which is nice.
“I was also told they had a whip-round for me at the last home game and I just want to show my appreciation for that. I’d also like to thank all the nurses on the Purbeck Ward at Dorset County Hospital.”
He added: “I want to prove to people that they have not seen the last of me. When you break a leg people question whether you will come back but I know I won’t be a worse player for it.
“It’s all about getting the rehab right. I’m not looking to rush myself, I will do it right and set myself targets along the way.”
Walker-Harris was yesterday hoping to reach the first of those targets by having his full cast removed and replaced with a shorter version.
He said: “Getting a below-the-knee cast will mean I can start walking again.
“I’ve had the full cast for four to five weeks and I should be in the new one for around three weeks, after which I will look to get on with the rehab and build the strength back in my leg.
“I will try and find out when playing football is a realistic target but at the moment I don’t have a clue.
“I’ve just been focusing on little things along the way like counting down the days until the full cast comes off. After the smaller cast comes off, I’ll be talking to physios and maybe getting a personal trainer. I need to do the rehab in a controlled environment otherwise I will push myself too hard.”
Since his unfortunate injury, the Magpies’ number one has been joined on the sidelines by understudy Nic Jones, who dislocated a finger prior to the defeat to Staines Town a fortnight ago.
Full-back Kyle Critchell was forced to don the gloves that day before reserve-team regular Dan Floyd made his senior bow in the Dorset Senior Cup triumph over Wimborne Town and his league debut at Tonbridge Angels last weekend.
Walker-Harris, who joined the club from Wimborne last summer, added: “The pressure was on Dan with his first match being a cup final but the opposition probably helped.
“Wimborne aren’t a bad team but it was probably a nice opposition to come up against.
“He made a good save early on, which is important, and he did the same at Tonbridge. Especially for young lads, your first involvement in a game has to be a positive one.
“It’s a good shop window for him. It’s a big jump from the reserves but he’s not going to do himself any harm. If he does well it will give Phil Simkin a difficult decision to make.”
Dorchester bring the curtain down on an eventful season with Saturday’s visit of Bromley.
A top-10 finish is still up for grabs but whatever the outcome, Walker-Harris, who hopes to be in the stands this weekend, believes it has been a successful campaign.
He said: “The season has petered out a bit but at the start the club would have snapped your hand off to be in this position.
“The club wanted to improve on last year and we have certainly done that, so everyone should be happy with how it has gone. Every season you look back and have a certain amount of regrets but on the whole it has been a success.”
Despite a disappointing end to his own season, the term could end on a high with the gloveman among the nominees for the Online Player of the Year award.