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Dorchester Town sign former Premier League midfielder

Dorchester Town sign a former Premier League midfielder, and what a coup of a deal it is for the club as it gets plenty of reaction.

The Southern League Premier Division South outfit have brought in Tom Soares, who has dropped down the leagues, opting for the non league game.

In 2020, he was playing at League Two level (fourth tier), but now he finds himself him the seventh tier of English football.

CLUB STATEMENT:

Dorchester Town Football Club are delighted to announce former Premier League midfielder Tom Soares has agreed terms to sign for The Magpies.

With over 500 career appearances across the Premier League and Football League, Soares featured for both Crystal Palace and Stoke City in the top flight of English football, and has also represented Charlton Athletic, Sheffield Wednesday, Bury, AFC Wimbledon and Stevenage in the Football League.

The 34-year-old central midfielder – who was also capped four times as an England U21 international – has been training with The Magpies squad over the past week and could make his debut in our friendly against Hamworthy United tomorrow afternoon at The Avenue.

Speaking on his new signing, boss Robbie Herrera said: “It’s a fantastic acquisition for the club. He obviously brings experience and loads of quality, and he’s going to be invaluable to us not only off the pitch but on the pitch too – he’ll bring calm and he’ll be great for the younger players.”

“He’s already mixed in brilliantly with everybody and the lads have all taken to him, you can see he can play and he’s kept himself in good shape.”

“It’ll be great for the younger lads to listen, learn and take advice off him – we haven’t got that much experience in the squad and he’ll provide us with something on the pitch as we can only do so much from the sidelines, so it’ll be great to have him in and around the place.”

“He’s shown he’s still got that hunger to play and hopefully do well with us at Dorchester.”

Photo Credit: engkemish on Instagram

Dorchester manager Robbie Herrera told Echosport: “He’s been really happy, he’s been in and I’ve had a couple of chats with him after training.

“He’s enjoying it, he’s liking what myself, Kev (Hodges, assistant) and the staff are trying to do at the club.

“He’s integrated really well with the boys and he’s an experienced pro.

“He’ll be good not just for what he brings in terms of his footballing ability but what he’ll bring to the younger lads in the group.

“He’s just been playing locally for his family. He’s 34, he’s come in, we’ve done some fitness testing and he’s looking fit, in good condition.

“He seems like a genuine guy, he’s got a good manner about him. He hasn’t come in and given it the big ‘I’ve played Premiership football’.

“He’s mixed in with the boys and the boys have given him a bit of banter – he’s enjoyed it.”

SOARES CAREER:

Youth career
2000–2003 – Crystal Palace

Senior career
2003–2008 – Crystal Palace – 149 games (11 goals)
2008–2012 – Stoke City – 7 games (0 goals)
2009 → Charlton Athletic (loan) – 11 games (1 goal)
2009–2010 → Sheffield Wednesday (loan) – 25 games (2 goals)
2012 → Hibernian (loan) – 10 games (2 goals)
2012–2017 – Bury – 164 games (22 goals)
2017–2019 – AFC Wimbledon – 69 games (1 goal)
2019–2020 – Stevenage – 15 games (0 goals)
2020– Odcombe – 3 games (1 goal)

National team
2005–2007 – England U21 – 4 games (0 goals)

Fans reacted as Dorchester Town sign the former Premier League midfielder, see what they have to say below…

@OffTheLineBlog: I beg your pardon? What a signing that is!

@Cal_Ridge: Good luck Tom 👊

@chris_maffy1: @paolosutherland wasn’t this guy on Hibs books for a while?

@paolosutherland: Yip, came on loan from Stoke City, a period of Hibs history I’d rather forget…also known as the Pat Fenton era. Pretty sure it was the same season we had Matt Doherty on loan too.

@Ian_Evans: I think we can call this a coup 🙂

Dan Le-God: Wow. Brilliant news. Well done Dorch 👍🏻

Adam Purchase: Claiming his pension soon

Ashley Watkins: Just give us the league title now

Laurence Good: Welcome indeed Tom. The whole club has had a difficult few seasons. Maybe something’s coming home. ❤️

Graham Wild: You are fucking kidding me ? I remember watching him for palace… probably the best signing Dorch have made since Chris weale… this is absolutely sensational!!

Daniel Cullen: Great signing!

Andy Rendell: Great signing a premier league player playing for Dorset’s premier team 👏

Anthony Buik: League over

Gavin Borthwick: Weymouth fan in peace. You’ve some player there. Could last a couple if seasons at this level no problem.

Adam Barrett: This is class. A massive signing for the club. Surely this is enough for every Dorchester fan to now get behind the side? We love the magpies

Steven Cook: Brilliant player, will do your club proud

Matthew Dale: Up the football league we go

Fredric Rothman: Fair play the Dorch, that’s a hell of a coup

Christian Hill: Superb signing

Cameron Mrtt: Hell of a signing!!

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