DORCHESTER Town are braced for the biggest-ever edition of the Acerbis Magpies Football Festival this weekend.

From tomorrow to Tuesday, a record 200 youth teams will be attending the festival.

On the final day, Dorchester are for the first time hosting a primary inter-schools tournament, with 20 teams taking part.

The main festival runs from tomorrow to Sunday, with teams coming from as far afield as Bedfordshire, Kent, London and Gloucestershire to take part.

READ MORE: 2023 Acerbis Magpies Football Festival - report

There will also be strong representation for the Magpies, with Dorchester fielding 38 teams for the event.

Speaking to Echosport, newly-announced vice-chairman Cameron Dabbs explained why the tournament is Dorchester’s biggest so far.

He said: “It’s getting bigger and bigger, we are officially hitting that 200-team mark.

“It’s something I’ve been proud of for the last couple of years, the fantastic volunteers that get involved three or four months out from the actual event.

“It’s not a case of turning up on that Friday night and delivering it. There’s a lot of planning involved.

“With 200 teams it’s a logistical nightmare to ensure the teams get sufficient game time within the tournament.

“I want someone to point out to me a tournament that is bigger, that is held on a full-size pitch.

“Some tournaments might have 10, 12, 15 pitches but this is done on four. It’s all calculated.

“We’ve been very fortunate to increase the amount of game time that each team is getting but not changing the entry fee.

“We’ve got to work to the constraints of The FA’s adequate game time within a tournament because there are set rules.

“They get to play in a stadium and it looks just as busy as a home game. We’re looking at about 4,500 people across the four days, which is huge.”

Managers are advised to arrive 45 minutes before their team’s scheduled start, and both players and parents 30 minutes early.

There will be a managers’ meeting for every age group 30 minutes before the start time, held beside the home dugout.

Games last 12 minutes and teams are comprised of six players each, with managers and players advised to wear plastic-studded shoes only.

People travelling to the stadium are advised of a limited number of spaces in Dorchester’s car park. Spaces in adjacent supermarket and fast-food branches are off limits.

Car parking spaces at the ground cost £3 for a day, including a ticket to the Magpies’ 50/50 draw.

The draw is run by Dorchester’s supporters’ club, alongside chosen charity the Ducks & Drakes Cancer Trust.

Tournament sponsors Acerbis are, for teams in attendance, also offering a ‘festival offer’ for new kit quotes.