DORCHESTER Town chairman Scott Symes has stressed the importance of capturing the best local young players for the Magpies’ development sides.

Dorchester have nurtured their under-23 team to produce two players capable of first-team football in George Calverley and Joel Hewitt.

While striker Hewitt is on loan at Portland United, left-back Calverley has been regularly used as a substitute for the Magpies this campaign.

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Beneath the under-23 squad is Dorchester’s new under-18 side, the first step of a three-tier player pathway that Symes hopes will strengthen the first team in future years.

He told Echosport: “I’m passionate about local footballers and how much talent is lost through the way the pyramid is set up and academy systems that don’t work.

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“I’ve coached myself, I understand there needs to be something – and they are critical years – between the ages of 16 and 20.

“That first principle of setting that up at the club was extremely important that we captured as much local talent as we could and give them the right environment to try and do best.

“That’s been really, really positive.

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“They start with the 18s but their challenge then is to get into the 23s as early as they can and then the first team.”

Dorchester Town have also partnered with Exeter City to develop players at under-seven and under-14 level as part of the Grecians’ ECFC Player Progression Pathway.