DORCHESTER Town have pulled off their biggest signing of the close season so far after defender Dan Strugnell agreed terms for a two-year contract with the Magpies.

The 26-year-old, who started his career at AFC Bournemouth, joins the club from relegated National League side Havant & Waterlooville, where he made 285 appearances during the past seven years and was an integral part of The Hawks' title-winning sides in 2017 and 2018.

After agreeing to become the Magpies' second new arrival of the summer, Strugnell said: “I'm delighted to sign.

"One of the phrases when speaking to the manager is that Dorchester, I think as a whole, is seen as a bit of a sleeping giant in the non-League scene.

"I think it's well respected around the south coast - everyone knows that Dorchester is a big club in the non-League scene.

"I'm really excited with the feel about the place, obviously the ground is fantastic - it's one of the better grounds in non-League, and the project that could potentially happen here, that the manager's putting together with the players that are signing is really exciting, and it's something I want to be part of.”

Speaking on his time at Havant & Waterlooville, Strugnell added: "I signed when I was 19, I had some great times there, and 13 appearances off the top appearance maker - it's a shame not to get that, but it's time for me to move on, have a new chapter and I'm looking to, who knows, potentially have another seven years here at Dorchester."

Manager Callum Brooks cut a delighted figure after watching Strugnell sign on.

He said: "It gives me tremendous pleasure to welcome Dan to our football club and group of players.

"There is no denying that this will be a huge signing for us, one that I hope our supporters can enjoy and one which I believe represents a real sign of our ambition to make significant progress on the field and in the league table.”

“Dan’s arrival is further evidence of the momentum and feel good factor around the club that must be built upon. His footballing CV speaks for itself, however on top of this he is exactly the right kind of character to make a major contribution to our on-field project.”

“During my talks with Dan the esteem that he holds Dorchester Town in was extremely encouraging and he showed a desire to embrace the project, and he plans on being here for a lengthy period of time.

"His loyalty and dedication to Havant & Waterlooville sums up his mentality perfectly. All in all, it is another step forward for us this close season."

Strugnell joins Tiago Sa, Tom Blair, Billy Lowes and Luke Winsper in having penned deals at the Magpies since the season-ending 3-1 loss to Hartley Wintney in late April.