Although admitting his first aim is to secure Blue Square Bet South survival, Dorchester Town manager Phil Simkin
….is hopeful his summer acquisitions will help lead the Magpies to another top-half tilt.
Since the end of the 2011/12 campaign, in which Dorchester earned an impressive eleventh-place finish, the county town squad has been bolstered by the additions of Jason Matthews, Ben Watson, Andy Masson, Lewis Morgan, Charlie Clough and Elliot Ward, as well as Exeter City loanees Jamie Reid and Jacob Wannell.
And Simkin is looking forward to seeing his new recruits in competitive action.
The manager, whose side get the new term underway with tomorrow’s visit of Eastbourne Borough, said: “Jason has made a massive difference with his talking and his all-round ability.
“He is terrific in the dressing room, all the lads like him and he is really happy at the club.
“Ben is getting sharper every time he plays and he is getting back to peak fitness, which he has not been at for a little while.
“Andy is a quality footballer who doesn’t know the game very well at the moment, but it’s down to us to teach him.
“He has shades of Ben Dickenson about him so it’s up to us to teach him as quickly as possible.
“Lewis is a strong lad and can do a job anywhere while the Exeter lads will do an excellent job for us.
“Jacob is six-foot-two and a very good footballer while Jamie is a powerhouse. He never stops running and he is also a good finisher.
“We hope to keep both of them for three months – which is the maximum for a short-term loan.”
Discussing his hopes for the upcoming season, Simkin added: “The first aim for every club is to get to the forty-point mark. Once you get there, you can relax a bit and anything else is a bonus.
“We are the perennial underdogs. We need a bit of luck along the way and we need to stay clear of injuries, as we only have a small squad.
“We will look to try and repeat what we did last season but there are no guarantees in football.
“Every team in our league will be strong. I can’t imagine how the likes of Eastleigh and Havant & Waterlooville won’t be challenging given the amount of money they have spent.
“If we finish above them again we will have had a great season as they have spent fortunes.
“We will do our best and we will continue to get the ball down and pass it, and try to play the right way.”
The Magpies earned just a single victory during their pre-season programme but given the calibre of opposition, which included the likes of Brighton and Yeovil, Simkin is far from concerned.
He said: “We didn’t choose easy opposition in pre-season because I don’t see the point. You get lulled into a false sense of optimism and when the real McCoy comes along you are not ready. It’s better to play difficult games and that is what we have done.
“It’s been a difficult pre-season but I’m feeling upbeat about the new season and we really want to get it underway.”