CLUBS in Dorset and the surrounding area are fishing in an increasingly “small pond”, according to Dorchester Town manager Tom Killick.

Next season, the Magpies are set to be joined at Step 3 level by Wimborne Town and potentially the likes of Havant & Waterlooville, while AFC Totton failed in their bid for promotion and remain in Dorchester's league.

Killick’s old club Poole are also keen on a rebuild under new boss Steve Tully.

Frome are set to come up from Step 4, while Dorchester are also competing with the likes of Weymouth and Salisbury in Step 2.

READ MORE: Dorchester Town wary of external interest in players

Asked how different the off-season landscape is this summer with regards to signing players, Killick told Echosport: “The only issue we’ve got is Dorchester, Wimborne and Poole.

“Then, you throw in the Weymouths, Tottons and Salisburys. All financially strong.

“So, when I’m trying to sign players, often you’re competing against those other clubs.

“Historically, you have a situation where perhaps a couple of them are in strong financial positions and a couple of them are not.

“I’d say Poole have got very significant finances, so have Wimborne, so have Weymouth being in the league above and the support they get.

“A lot of the local teams seem to be powerful. That is clearly going to have an effect on the market.

“If you’ve got a player that Poole, Wimborne and Dorchester are all chasing, then inevitably the cost of that player is likely to go up.

“The fact that the clubs are now all the same league makes it quite difficult. It’s the old story, there’s quite a small pond that a lot of people are fishing in.”

The Magpies have already secured Will Spetch, Corby Moore, Jack Dickson, Olaf Koszela, Drew Eccott-Young, Luke Pardoe and Luke Roberts for 2024/25.