DORCHESTER Town captain Ashley Wells believes the Magpies will reap the rewards from an increased focus on fitness.

Prior to the third national lockdown, the Magpies underwent a managerial change as Robbie Herrera stepped up from assistant after Leigh Robinson left citing work commitments.

Herrera, along with new assistant Kevin Hodges, has only taken charge of one competitive game – a 3-2 FA Trophy loss to Swindon Supermarine.

But before fixtures and training were forbidden at ‘non-elite’ level, Herrera’s preferred attacking style and work ethic off the ball warranted a greater demand on fitness levels.

It has meant punishing sessions in training and, while Wells admitted the workload gave him “jelly legs”, he has backed the regime to pay off in future.

He told Echosport: “Obviously, we’ve had a change in manager.

“Robbie and Robbo have different ideas. On our pitch, it suits Robbie’s tactics a bit more because he wants us to play.

“Everyone plays football because they want the ball, not to chase around after it.

“Him and Kev have come in and the training intensity is very high.

“I hate it, but he runs us after every session. Honestly, I dread it. But, you know, it’s got to be done.

“He’ll base his team on different things. He wants us to play and be able to run around for more than 90 minutes and not switch off for a second, because that’s when you get punished.

“In the last session we had, he did it at the start. That was probably the worst, because then you’ve got jelly legs.”

Playing with lethargic legs is all part of Herrera’s plan, Wells believes.

“You’re trying to play football and your legs have already gone,” he said.

“That’s what he wants us to do, to be able to play with tired legs and keep our judgment.

“When you get tired, you let that little loose pass go, or you don’t run the extra five yards.

“That’s what he’s trying to ingrain in us, that you just need to keep going and push through it.

“Running with the other lads, you encourage each other and it’s a lot more helpful than just doing endless runs by yourself.

“You see that they’re willing to push through the boundaries for you, so you’ve got to be willing to do it for them.”

However, since the third lockdown Dorchester’s season has been put on hold. The Magpies last played in early December.

Dorchester’s players are still maintaining fitness, reporting their efforts to data analyst Connor Toland.

Wells said: “We’ve got Connor who monitors our fitness. We send him little bits.

“At the moment, the gaffer is trying to make sure we’re all right, rather than: ‘You have to do this, that.’

“He’s checking on us from time to time, asking if everyone’s all right. Just telling us to be ready.”

He added: “I think it would be a big ask if (the Southern League) suddenly turned around and said: ‘We’re going to carry on with the season.’

“You’ve got lads that haven’t played in two months. I’ve spoken to Robbie and as soon as he can he’ll get us back in.

“If we can’t continue the season, we’ll start to prep for next season because we want to be near the top half. We don’t want to be looking over our shoulder.”