DORCHESTER Town defender Neil Martin will be hoping to make his 400th appearance for the Magpies this weekend after recovering from a bout of illness.

Martin was ruled out of the 3-0 defeat to Hendon after feeling unwell, but he has told Echosport that he is optimistic of featuring in the BetVictor Southern Premier South clash with Merthyr Town on Saturday (3pm).

Speaking on the possibility of making his 400th appearance this weekend, he said: “It would be a great achievement to reach 400 games, obviously I have been at the club for 10 years on and off and I have really enjoyed it.

“It’s getting harder obviously with each knock I get and it feels a bit worse on the Sunday but as long as I can stay fit and healthy I hope I can keep going.”

Dorchester are currently bottom of the league and are running out of games to turn their season around, but Martin still feels the club can survive.

He said: “We have quality in the group, we just need three points for us to build on.

“Once we get those three points we can build off that and hopefully stay up come the end of the season.”

Dorchester face Merthyr Town on Saturday and Martin thinks it will be another tough game for the Magpies.

He said: “They (Merthyr) beat Taunton who are in the play offs in their last game so it just shows, in this league there are no easy games.

“Anyone can beat anyone, I have played a lot of games in this league and the league above and there are never any easy games.

“We haven’t been playing well recently but we haven’t been getting any luck either and sometimes when things aren’t going your way you need a bit of luck.

“Merthyr is never an easy place to go but the boys just have to get their heads down and work hard.”

Despite the team’s form and precarious position, Martin is excited about the club’s future.

He said: “With the new manager and assistant coming in it was never going to be easy for them at the start but slowly we are looking towards the future and building towards that.

“The club is trying to get the academy up and running and the future is bright for the club.”