BEAMINSTER will take a strong squad to Poole Park as they tackle Poole Town Seconds in their County Division One opener on Saturday (1pm).

Chris Park’s men are set to take part in the revamped Wessex Internet Dorset League, in which relegation and promotion at their level will not take place for two seasons.

Beaminster finished eighth in a three-way tie with Swanage and Hamworthy last season, the trio locked on 170 points.

And Park knows Poole’s second string, who claimed third in Division One for 2023, represent a tough opening fixture.

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He told the Bridport News: “The catchment area of Poole is always high and they gave us a whipping last year.

“I don’t know what their preparations have been like but it’s a strange one with no promotions. I wonder how that’s going to affect teams’ mentality?

“It’s almost like a free hit, we can play every team twice, get a gauge of where they’re at and how to beat them.”

Beaminster, like many other teams nationwide, have seen their preparations hit by an unusually wet winter.

Park said: “Preparation has almost been non-existent apart from the indoor nets.

“The field at Beaminster is always wet in winter and it’s continued to be completely sodden so we haven’t done any outdoor training.

“We’re literally going to go in as cold as we could ever be.”

Beaminster do have a new signing in Ben Padwick, a left-arm all-rounder.

Park added: “He’s moved to the area in the last year. I’ve only seen him once, he’s played out in Australia, so we’ll see.”

Elsewhere, seamer Brad Damen misses the season for personal reasons.

Beaminster: W Moss, Hansford, Golledge, A Moss, Jones, Runyard, Park, Baker, Padwick, Edwards, Fry.