WEYMOUTH’S return to the National League at Altrincham tomorrow (3pm) represents an “exciting time” for the Terras, according to boss Brian Stock.

National League fixtures are set to go ahead after an emergency government grant was promised this week.

Stock’s men embark on a first National League fixture for 11 years after their promotion via the play-offs – mirroring Alty’s rise to non-League’s top flight.

And Stock believes he has fallen on his feet after taking charge of Weymouth in August.

He told Echosport: “It’s an exciting time. I’ve picked up a club where not normally are the circumstances like this.

“I’ve inherited a healthy squad that’s had success. What a great opportunity for everyone – the club, supporters, the whole town are excited for this year.

“The strength in depth has taken me by surprise. There’s not one player that wouldn’t have a case for starting the season – that’s very rare because we have 23 players in the squad.

“If we can make sure all those players are playing for the team, the club, rather than themselves, we’re going to give ourselves a fighting chance.”

On Altrincham, Stock added: “It will be a tough game.

“You look at the way Weymouth went up and Altrincham went up – I did it as a player at Havant – it’s that momentum which has taken them into the second season.

“One thing I would try to promote with the lads is to keep that momentum, that belief, have that winning mentality.

“When we don’t quite make the grade in games we don’t get results our performance might deserve – because that will happen given the style we’ll play – it’s making sure we bounce back strong.”

Weymouth are close to signing a new defender, but Stock revealed loanee winger Sam Pearson is “almost certain” to return to Bristol City due to the length of his commute from Wales.

He said: “He’s a young lad, he lives in Cardiff. He’s found the travelling and commitment at his age a bit of a struggle.

“It’s proving too much too soon for him. He’s an exciting prospect and I’m upset to lose him.

“He’s only 18 and it might be something if we did go full-time and he’s training day in, day out, that might change the complexion of a loan deal.”

Stock is in no rush to sign a replacement, adding: “I will take my time with it.

“The players we have in those positions I’ve got plenty of cover for now. Sam did give us something slightly different to what we have.

“He can go past players and is a threat in behind. We’ll be looking for similar attributes for our next target.”

Weymouth defender Ade Olumuyiwa is a doubt with tendonitis.

Dorset Echo

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