'Informal' link-up a boost for Magpies and Blues

Saturday 08th July 2017

DORCHESTER Town and Portland United have announced an “informal” link-up which will see the sharing of selected players from both teams on dual-registration terms.

The move means that respective Dorchester and Portland managers Craig Laird and Simon Browne will have access to a greater pool of players, while allowing squad members to gain playing experience.

Speaking to Echosport about the “mutually beneficial” idea, Browne revealed the tie-up is unofficial with no current technical partnership.


He said: “There’s no official contractual agreement and it will be on the playing side initially.

“It came about with a conversation between Reggie (Mark Carter) and Trevor (Senior) and then it turned into a meeting with myself, Craig, Trevor, Stuart Heath and Reggie.

“The idea is a relatively informal link-up. It gives Craig an avenue to use his squad to the level he wants and the option of loaning out players to a standard that will benefit his first team.

“The flip side is obviously that it will benefit us in that we will get a pool of players to choose from and we can get players in who have potentially got Southern Premier League experience.

“The idea is meant to be mutually beneficial.”

Browne used the example of the Portland trialists currently at Dorchester to elaborate on how the link-up could be directly implemented between the two clubs.

“It’s been well documented that there’s been four or five ex-Portland players that are currently with Dorchester at the moment.

“If for whatever reason they drop out of the side it might be that they go on loan at Portland. It’s just getting players dual-registered,” he said.

Dorchester Town assistant-manager Senior, who worked with Carter at Bridport, said the partnership would enable the clubs to “help each other out.”

He said: “Craig said he was interested in linking up with a club close to the level we’re playing at. Mark and myself go back a long way and it seemed the obvious choice.


“With a few of the lads coming from Portland to join us it’s a case of sucking and seeing how it works out. We’ll try and keep everybody happy but it could be that some of the players that aren’t getting regular game time can get football with Portland.

“If we can help each other out that’s what we’ll do. It’s a way of looking to keep as many players on our books as we can and keeping them competitive.”

With Portland set to play friendlies against the Magpies’ first and reserve teams, Browne said it was conceivable that some players could play for a different side in each fixture.

“We’ve got two friendlies – against Dorchester reserves on the 29th and the first team three days later. I’ll have the opportunity to look at some of the players on Dorchester’s books.

“I guess it’s possible that some of the players might play one game in a blue shirt and the other in a black and white one,” Browne added.

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