DORCHESTER Town have unveiled a packed pre-season schedule featuring nine friendlies, all in July.

The Magpies will play six matches at home and three on the road.

They begin with a home clash against Southern League Division One side Bideford on Friday, July 1.

Wessex League promotion hopefuls AFC Portchester follow at the Avenue Stadium on Tuesday, July 5 before Dorchester host Southern League Division One outfit Sholing on Saturday, July 9.

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Dorchester's first away trip comes at Portland United on Tuesday, July 12 before a meeting with Wimborne at the Avenue four days later, reuniting with departed defenders Ashley Wells and Oakley Hanger.

Western League side Bridgwater United entertain Dorchester on Tuesday, July 19 and Hamworthy United, promoted to the Southern League Division One as Wessex League champions, come to Dorchester on Saturday, July 23.

Dorchester conclude their schedule with their two toughest tasks as new boss Chris Hargreaves brings his Yeovil side to Dorchester on Tuesday, July 26.

Ridgeway rivals Weymouth then entertain the Magpies in their final fixture on Saturday, July 30.

It means Glenn Howes' men will face at least two games per week for the duration of the month.

The new Southern League Premier South campaign then begins on Saturday, August 6.

All kick-off times are yet to be confirmed.

What does the pre-season schedule mean for Dorchester?

DORCHESTER boss Glenn Howes is clearly stepping up the intensity with the Magpies' busiest pre-season calendar for many years.

Playing nine games in 30 days is an arduous task and comes before the beginning of a league season that will feature several Saturday-Tuesday match weeks.

Howes is clearly keen to accustom his newly-built squad to his preferred high-energy style, simply hit the ground running - or both.

The Magpies will surely rotate their squad for this crowded diary and hope they do not pick up many injuries with such a demanding July.

Whichever way you look at it, this is an early and eye-catching statement of intent from Howes that fitness levels must be sky-high in order to make a good start in the league campaign.

Given Dorchester have struggled at the beginning of each of the past five seasons, Howes appears determined not to fall into the same trap during his first full campaign as manager.