BRIDPORT Reserves’ manager Shaun Annetts admits a mass exit of players from the Bees’ first spells “good and bad” news for his second string ahead of their Dorset Premier League opener against Sturminster Newton United on Saturday (3pm).

Annetts’ men welcome the Cherries to St Mary’s Field having finished eighth last season, but the reserves’ boss in unsure what to expect this term.

He told the Bridport News: “The football club have had a tough pre-season with the first team going en masse. Rich Robson and Ryan (Dovell) have had a job rebuilding.

“They’ve given a lot of my reserve team lads the opportunity to show what they can do.

“Three or four of my lads will feature in the first team possibly for the rest of the season, but certainly for the start – it’s good and bad.

“Good for me they’ve been given the opportunity, bad because they’re good lads and I shall miss them as far as it weakens (the team) slightly.

“That said, I’m giving some third-team lads the opportunity to come forward.”

Annetts will assess his squad’s fitness at training tonight ahead of facing Sturminster.