PHIL Simkin has been “pleasantly surprised” by the standard of some of the trialists that are currently being put through their paces at the Avenue Stadium.

Forty-four players turned out for the Magpies’ first pre-season session last Thursday and although Saturday’s turnout was much lower due to circumstances surrounding the weather, the Magpies’ boss is happy with how things are shaping up.

Simkin told Echosport: “We had such a good first session last Thursday. There were 44 players there and they included some good trialists.

“We were hoping to continue that momentum into Saturday but unfortunately the adverse weather meant the west country boys couldn’t get here.

“A lot of the trialists are players I have been speaking to throughout the summer who have come up looking for a deal.

“There were several decent lads amongst them and we will be looking at them again whenever we can over the next few weeks.”

Commenting further on the trialists, Simkin went on to add: “Obviously I am not going to mention any names but they are all young players that have been at non-League clubs.

“So far I have been pleasantly surprised and I am certainly looking forward to seeing them all again at training tomorrow night.”

Dorchester’s first pre-season friendly takes place this Saturday, with Christchurch the visitors to the Avenue Stadium after original opponents Kettering withdrew from the fixture.