NEWLY-promoted Dorchester kick-off their new season in Wadworth 6X Southern Counties South with a tough away fixture at Swindon College Old Boys tomorrow (3pm)
The club is fielding three senior men’s sides this season in league competition along with a ladies’ team, the club also have a very strong youth section, bucking the trend locally of reducing the number of senior teams in competition.
Further strengthening the club this season are renewed and new commercial partnerships as Highwood Agriculture will again have their names on the first-team shirts along with the Gladiators’ shirts this season as the club’s main sponsor after agreeing a three-year deal.
They are joined by Phase Three Kitchen & Bedroom Furniture Design who will have their name on the A XV shirts, and club chairman Nick Hodge said: “We are thrilled to have Highwood continuing as our main club sponsor, and thank them for their continued involvement with the club.
“Phase Three are new to team sponsorship and we thank them for their support and faith in the club to provide them a great commercial platform.”
Keen supporter of Dorchester’s sporting teams, Hearn & Sons Roofing, are the new match ball sponsors for the next two seasons for both first and A sides.
Head coaches Martyn Peel and Eral Anderson are looking forward to competing in a stronger league than recent years, and are looking to see the players step up to the challenge, with new players joining over the summer period and a stable squad from last year, selection could prove tough this season with competition for places throughout the sides.
Peel said: “We are getting great numbers to training, players are putting in a huge effort and the team spirit is very strong.
“With new combinations and senior players taking responsibility on the pitch, each team looks strong and ready to challenge for wins.”
Adam Makepeace returns as first-team captain again, with James Baker as his vice-captain and other familiar faces travelling to Swindon are James Newsam, Dave Cottell and Tom Evans in the forwards and Jake Bosher and Callum King in the backs, looking to distribute the ball quickly and build a fast-paced flowing game.
Debutants for the first team this weekend will be Jed Gravelle, Olly Morris, Andy Dowell, Kyle Pinnock and Nick Emtage.
Meanwhile, the A side kick-off at home against old rivals North Dorset III in Wadworth 6X Dorset & Wilts Two South (3pm).
All will be keen to put in a good first performance and feature regularly this season.
Dorchester’s A XV entertain North Dorset at Coburg Road and Captain Rob Parker has a strong squad to take the game to the visitors. Chris Elliott and Lee King provide the weight in the pack and Matt Fry and Luc Scadden add speed and hard tackling in the backs. Vice Captain Laurence Burch sits this game out due to an injury picked up in a preseason game.