DORCHESTER Town have announced that their academy plans, in partnership with the SCL Education Group, will fully start at the beginning of the 2020/21 season.

A club spokesman said: “This is due to so much interest from players from outside of their proposed SCL Education programme, we have agreed with SCL that we will kick off with a full education programme at the start of 2020/21 season.

“This means for the forthcoming season Dorchester Town FC Academy are offering all 16 to 18-year-olds who are in a full-time education programme the opportunity to play in The National League Under-19 Alliance League – a player must have attained the age of 16 but must not have attained the age of 19 by midnight on August 31 of the season.”

The league is the highest level of academy football young footballers can play before joining a full-time football league academy.

The club are looking at forging a pathway from grassroots youth football through to their first team.

This league gives the club the opportunity to develop the skill set of players to the level required to represent the first team.

The new academy side will play matches on Wednesday afternoons with a kick-off at 2pm, and train during some evenings in the week.

Players will be continuing their studies at school or college, and there may also be the opportunity to continue to play other teams should those fixtures be at the weekends.

The Magpies will be holding a trial evening at the Clayson Stadium on Wednesday, August 7 from 7pm to 9pm, followed by a trial match on Wednesday, August 14.