NEW Dorchester captain James Dunham is embracing the challenges posed by taking on the responsibility of club skipper.

Dunham, who has fulfilled a vice-captain position in recent seasons, takes over in a lead role from Simon Mitchem and Dan Belt – although the latter two will still be involved in leadership on and off the field.

Speaking to Echosport about his appointment, Dunham feels the development will be “beneficial” for all parties.

He said: “I’ve been vice-captain for the last couple of years and had to do the odd game when Simon was away. It’s a nice challenge for me.

“Dan’s still available and we’ve got about five ex-captains on the committee so there’s a few people to go to.

“(Belt and Mitchem) are two great individuals to have around in the team. I’m sure they will be around to support me.

“The three of us will work together on and off the field with selection so it’s definitely beneficial for the club and for myself.”

He added: “I will be taking more of a lead role. Simon will still be there to help me out should I need it. Dan will do more of the on-field stuff and Simon is good at the off-field stuff – he’s very organised.

“He’ll be wanting to help me and he likes to stay involved, which is a great help to me.”

Despite being named captain, Dunham is confident the extra burden will not impact on his bowling, with the left-arm seamer taking 16 wickets in the Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League last season.

He said: “I did a bit more last year and with a new job I’m around more.

“If anything I think it will benefit (my bowling).”

Dorchester have also been in negotiations to recruit an overseas player.

Dunham said: “We have been looking. There’s a few options there, we’ll have to see if we can finalise it.

“We’re definitely open to more players, but ideally we’re looking for an overseas player. We’re trying to sort things out as we speak.”

Dorchester return to indoor pre-season training in mid-March for three sessions before heading outside and have also booked friendlies at Brighton (April 21) and at home to Dorset Over-50s (April 28) before hosting a derby with Weymouth a day later.

Dunham also revealed a new under-19s ‘colts’ side will compete in Division Three of the Dorchester and District Evening League in the 2018 season alongside the club’s established Dorchester Casuals team.