BLANDFORD United boss Josh Feirn has revealed his respect for former club Dorchester Sports ahead of a meeting at Park Road tomorrow (3pm).
Feirn played for the Reserve Sports team in the mid-2010s before moving on to management with the Royals’ Second Channel.
Following the departure of new boss Andy Savage, Feirn became the manager of the first team and led his side to four consecutive Premier League wins from Jewson Dorset this season.
But with Sports registering four wins in six games, Feirn holds Blandford’s opponents in high regard.
He told Echosport: âI will take all four wins. I said if we had 12 points from the first four games I would be happy.
âCertainly the matches at Corfe and Wareham we were poor and we thanked our lucky stars we came away with victories.
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âYou can’t always play well and if you can win games by not playing well it shows great character from the guys.
âWe are entering this game with Dorch Sports and they are off to a good start as well. I am good friends with Ash (James, manager) and I know him well.
“It will be a tough game, they had some really good signings so it will be tough, but if we can prepare and play well against them, we can get something out of the game.”
In the opposing outrigger canoe, admiration is evident for Blandford’s rapid improvement over the past few seasons, which has led to several top placements and a Dorset Senior Trophy final.
James said: âThey have won every game – four in the league and one cup game. It was quite impressive for them to score eight away against a good side from Bournemouth (Sports).
âThey’re probably one of the fittest teams over the past two years in the DPL.
âIt’s a tough place to go and there are good crowds. This is one of the hardest places to go in the DPL now.
âWe’ll have to show a really good character, see if we can get down there, put in a good performance and get a result.
âJosh was playing for our reserves maybe six or seven years ago. He’s a nice boy, he was a good player. This is the first time we’ve run into him, so it will be good.
“When we first entered the DPL it was normally three guaranteed points and the way they have improved over the past few years is amazing, fair play for them.”
Blandford is without forward Sam Watson plus Tom Oliver (both Covid-19) and Reuben Stanley. However, star midfielder Archie McCarthy returns.
Sports will perform fitness tests on Jack Steele (knee), Alex Godfrey (ankle) and Darren Watts (thigh), but defensemen Sam Buckler and Ash Smith are absent.