WHEN Dorchester Town appoint a successor to Robbie Herrera, the Magpies will have their seventh manager since 2017.

Club legend Mark Jermyn, who had been in charge since 2015, stepped down on Boxing Day 2016 following the 1-1 draw with rivals Weymouth.

Since then the Magpies have appointed Craig Laird, Steve Thompson, Callum Brooks, Leigh Robinson and Herrera to revive the club’s fortunes.

Whoever the new boss should be, they will have the task of achieving Dorchester’s first top-12 finish since 2013.

So, what has led to the Magpies using so many managers in that time? Here, we take a look at the tenures of the six gaffers in question.

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Mark Jermyn (Jan 2015 – Dec 2016)

Dorset Echo: Mark Jermyn stepped aside in December 2016 Picture: GRAHAM HUNTMark Jermyn stepped aside in December 2016 Picture: GRAHAM HUNT

MARK Jermyn’s arrival back at Dorchester came as no surprise.

The Germany-born Magpies icon had 600 games under his belt by the time he left Dorchester for Poole.

When Graham Kemp resigned, Jermyn found the opportunity to both play for and manage the Magpies hard to resist.

Jermyn got off to a good start in the second half of the 2014/15 season and carried it through to finish the final four games unbeaten, the Magpies finishing 17th in the Southern Premier League.

The following campaign witnessed a period of consolidation as Dorchester finished 13th.

However, by the time Jermyn had notched 700 games for the club he was asked to reduce the budget and, along with assistant Nick Crittenden, stepped aside.

Craig Laird (Jan 2017 – Aug 2017)

Dorset Echo: Craig Laird publicly criticised the club's budget in his tenure Picture: PHIL STANDFIELDCraig Laird publicly criticised the club's budget in his tenure Picture: PHIL STANDFIELD

CRAIG Laird came in as Jermyn’s replacement but lost his first five games in charge.

Instantly, the pressure was on Laird as the Magpies battled to stave off relegation and results picked up with four wins in the next six games.

Dorchester would go winless for the remainder of the season as David Jerrard’s famous goal at Stratford helped the Magpies stay up on the final day.

With Laird having the summer to build his own squad, bad results brought anger from the Magpies’ faithful.

Dorchester lost 5-1 to Banbury, 2-0 to King’s Lynn and 4-0 at Redditch but did beat Basingstoke 1-0.

Laird infamously criticised the club’s budget, claiming it was akin to “shopping in Aldi” and following a tirade of abuse in the wake of the 3-0 loss to rivals Weymouth, he departed the club.

Steve Thompson (Sep 2017 – Mar 2019)

Dorset Echo: Steve Thompson lasted 18 months in the hotseat Picture: PHIL STANDFIELDSteve Thompson lasted 18 months in the hotseat Picture: PHIL STANDFIELD

EIGHTEEN months in the hotseat at Dorchester goes down as some achievement for Steve Thompson in the context of this article.

Easily one of the more undervalued managers at the Avenue in recent times, Thompson’s reign was tainted slightly by the run of poor form that led to his dismissal.

The Magpies had scored just 16 times in 17 home games, falling into the bottom three, by the time the axe fell. It left 10 games for his successor Callum Brooks to keep Dorchester up.

However, Thompson’s tenure was full of exciting performances, namely the 4-1 win over non-League powerhouses Kettering Town, a 7-2 thrashing of Gosport and a 6-1 hammering of Staines.

There was a dynamite 4-0 victory over higher-league Eastbourne in the FA Trophy as Thompson led the Magpies to the second round where National League side Barnet claimed a slender 2-1 win.

Thompson was also responsible for bringing prolific young striker Ben Seymour to the club, plus the silky talent of Mo Baghdadi, and got the best out of mercurial winger Aaron Rodriguez.

Callum Brooks (Mar 2019 – Dec 2019)

Dorset Echo: Callum Brooks saved Dorchester from relegation before results tailed off Picture: PHIL STANDFIELDCallum Brooks saved Dorchester from relegation before results tailed off Picture: PHIL STANDFIELD

CALLUM Brooks achieved survival for Dorchester in the 2018/19 campaign during a 10-game make or break mini season.

Brooks galvanised a squad low on confidence after past matches and went four games before his first defeat, winning three on the spin including a memorable 7-1 win at Merthyr.

Dorchester then clinched survival with a game to spare, beating Tiverton 6-0 in arguably the finest home performance witnessed in these troublesome four years.

On the day, Dorchester’s play dazzled – the jewel in the crown being Dom Panesar-Dower’s unforgettable half-volley from 20 yards.

Brooks brought in a plethora of players in the summer but would win just two league games between mid-September and mid-December as a 3-0 defeat to Met Police spelled his demise.

Leigh Robinson (Jan 2020 – Nov 2020)

Dorset Echo: Leigh Robinson won four of his 20 games in charge Picture: PHIL STANDFIELDLeigh Robinson won four of his 20 games in charge Picture: PHIL STANDFIELD

FRESH from a glowing reputation at Taunton, Leigh Robinson had the CV to match up to the size of the task faced at the Avenue.

Robinson had won the Southern League Division One South title with the Peacocks a couple of seasons previous and also took the Somerset club to the FA Cup first round proper.

After a short-lived spell in the National League South at Truro, Robinson’s next job came at Dorchester – and it proved immensely difficult.

Robinson simply did not live up to the hype surrounding his exploits at Taunton, losing his first eight league games in charge.

It was not until a week before the Southern League halted play due to Covid-19 that Robinson ended his wait for a victory – a 1-0 success over Wimborne.

When play restarted after the first national lockdown, the losses continued to flow – including a disastrous 2-1 loss to Christchurch in the FA Cup and a 6-1 drubbing at home to Salisbury.

Robinson delivered a tonic with a 2-1 win over Gosport in the FA Trophy and later stepped down during the second national lockdown due to work commitments. He won four of 20 games in charge.

Robbie Herrera (Nov 2020 – Oct 2021)

Dorset Echo: Robbie Herrera spent 12 games in the manager's post Picture: RYAN ASMANRobbie Herrera spent 12 games in the manager's post Picture: RYAN ASMAN

STEPPING up from assistant to manager after Robinson’s exit was former Fulham left-back Robbie Herrera.

His time was also marred by lockdowns and Covid-19, the 12 games he oversaw stretched across 11 months.

Herrera, along with assistant Kevin Hodges, was credited with overhauling Dorchester’s style of play to an attractive passing game.

His devotion to bringing quality players in was also part of his remit as manager, but a long delay in securing a striker proved somewhat costly.

Herrera won just two of his 12 games in charge as Dorchester struggled for goals, exiting three cup competitions in that time.

After three poor defeats in succession, the last a horrid 4-1 loss to lower-league Lymington in the Southern League Cup, Herrera was relieved of his duties.

And so Dorchester are at a crossroads.

Do they go for an experienced manager to shepherd an undoubtedly talented, yet young squad to success?

Or do they gamble on a young, enthusiastic boss with a bright reputation?