DORCHESTER Town manager Steve Thompson is looking for players to show him “why they should be at the club” ahead of their Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division clash with Merthyr Town at the Avenue Stadium tomorrow (3pm).

With Dorchester on the cusp of being mathematically safe from relegation, despite never being in realistic danger of taking the drop, Thompson is turning his focus to next season.

Should the Magpies beat Merthyr, coupled with a loss for Dunstable Town, they will consolidate their standing in the division for the 2018/19 campaign.

And, with Dorchester all but safe, Thompson admitted he has already been scouting players with a view to next season.

He told Echosport: “I have players I want to keep here for next season and other players have it all to do. I’ll pick a team to go out and win every game, but you can see a lot more in matches than training.

“I’ve spoken to a league team and I was hoping to get one player in. It doesn’t look like he wanted to come. I’m also watching games, just looking at players in terms of next season.

“Until you know the budget, it’s difficult. At the moment I just want players to show me why they should be at the club, competing for the first team shirt next season.”

With the wintery conditions of

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last week, the Magpies did not train on Saturday after their match at Kettering was called off.

But Thompson revealed his trust in the squad to continue work in the gym to maintain fitness.

He said: “It’s hard to balance it out. We’ve got some players at pro clubs who train four times a week.

“We were due to train Saturday but because the travelling was hazardous we had to call it off. I would imagine most teams will be in the same situation with the weather.

“You can go into the gym and I would like to think some of the lads did go to their gym. We are reliant on players keeping themselves at a certain level of fitness.”

Dorchester have no injury concerns ahead of their tussle with the Martyrs, and Thompson confirmed that defender Kyle Egan missed the 1-1 draw with Dunstable through unavailability.

Meanwhile, Sol Ayunga, Jason Brookes and Dom Panesar-Dower all accrued valuable game time in Dorchester Reserves’ 1-0 Wyvern Midweek Combination League win at Bashley on Wednesday night.

Ben Morris scored the only goal of the game for Rich Robson’s troops, who were able to play only their third game of the year.

Robson’s men currently sit fourth, five points behind leaders Poole Town, who have a 100 per cent record after seven games.