A NEWLY created Dorchester Town Football Club Under-23 side will be in action next season.

First team captain Franklyn Clarke has been appointed as the Under-23 manager while Brian Churchill has been welcomed to the Under-23s coaching team.

The Under-23 side will be an important additional link and pathway for players progressing from The Magpies’ youth teams through to the senior squad.

The senior side has already seen talented youngsters Charlie Gosney, Ben Symes and Alfie Toland all involved with the first team over the past 12 months, having previously come up playing for Dorchester Town Youth sides.

The Under-23s will be playing midweek in the Hampshire Combination and Development League, which is a newly formed competition following the merger of the Wyvern Combination League and Hampshire County Youth League earlier this year.

Chairman Scott Symes said: “A key part of the vision for the club the Under-23s provides is a critical platform that we don’t currently have.

“It will also provide a place for first team squad members to get game time, if not getting minutes or players are returning from injury and need minutes, as four over age players can also be included in the Under-23 squad.

“Another key part of the future success for the club is that we provide a strong bridge from youth to adult to first team football, and the Under-23s will allow talented young local players to build their ability, maturity and confidence in the right developmental environment.

“Another bonus is it will also provide more football for the community to watch at The Avenue.”

Open trials for the Under-23 side are set to take place once it is safe for football to return to The Avenue Stadium, so please continue to check the Dorchester Town Football Club website and social media accounts for updates.