DORCHESTER Town’s search for new players continues to be fruitless, according to manager Steve Thompson.

The Magpies have just eight players contracted for the 2018/19 season and have their opening pre-season fixture away to Saltash on Saturday.

Thompson’s men are in need of a goalkeeper after Chris Weale’s decision to join Exeter City as a goalkeeping coach, while a specialist striker has long been on the Magpies’ shopping list.

Dorchester returned to pre-season training last week and a total of 18 outfield players turned up – a mixture of contracted players, trialists and returnees yet to commit to the club.

When pressed for names, Thompson remained cagey but moved to assure Magpies’ fans that work is going on behind the scenes to resolve the two problematic areas of Dorchester’s squad.

He told Echosport: “It’s been a very frustrating summer. I spoke to five strikers, none of whom have signed and for good reason as well.

“I spoke to a lad from Bristol and he’s playing a league higher. I was able to offer him more money but the appeal of a league higher swayed him.

“Others have said (no) for location reasons, so that’s not materialised.”

Thompson reiterated the fact that Dorchester are financially unable to offer multiple contracts.

He said: “I spoke to all (the players) last season and they would be welcome back. As a club we’re not in a position to give contracts out.

“A lot of players played without contracts last season. That’s the way it is at our club. I’m playing a waiting game at the moment, there’s nothing in the offing.”

With Thompson’s activity in the player market remaining frustrated, the Dorchester boss admitted he is concentrating on preparations for the coming campaign.

He said: “I’m just getting on with pre-season. We had 18 outfield players (at the first session)

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and there were a few trialists – no-one to get excited about, but it’s nice to have a good number in.

“Hopefully we can find a few players to add to our contracted players.”

On his search for a goalkeeper, Thompson added: “I spoke to a few clubs and two or three keepers as well. At the moment we don’t have one in place.

“We do have John (Hills) from Chard but we’re waiting for one to drop there as well.”