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Dolphins play their part in South Coast success story

Most football fans would agree it’s been a good season for football on the South Coast so far.

AFC Bournemouth are lying fourth in the Championship table after recently beating Birmingham City by a record 8-0, the first time the Cherries have achieved such a score in a league match.

Southampton have defied the critics who said they would struggle and currently sit second in the Premier League, above the likes of both Manchester City and United, Arsenal and Liverpool.

And for Portsmouth the future is looking brighter after they finally managed to pay off £7 million of debt last month.

With all this good news you could be forgiven if you had not heard of the other footballing success story in this area – that of Poole Town.

The Dolphins have lost only one game in 16 this season and are already six points clear at the top of the Southern Premier League and looking good for their second promotion in three years, this time to the Conference South Division, a major step up in footballing terms.

The second biggest football club in the Bournemouth and Poole area, the Dolphins are currently playing at the Tatnam Ground, and have been looking for a permanent base for some years after being forced to leave Poole Stadium in 1994 to make way for greyhound racing and Speedway at the venue.

More than two decades on, however, and redevelopment of the stadium could see the Dolphins return. With a ‘new’ home, Poole will be able to progress freely through non-league football where teams must fulfil certain criteria when moving to a higher division.

That regulation has hindered the club in recent years. Despite winning the Wessex Premier title three years in a row from 2008-2010 the Dolphins missed out on promotion because their ground wasn’t up to standard.

Those three titles were part of a run of success enjoyed by the club in recent years which also included the 2013 treble of Southern League Champions Cup, Dorset Senior Cup and Southern League Division One.

Now in their second Southern Premier League season, the Dolphins will be looking to continue the form they have shown this year and remain part of the footballing success story on the South Coast.

So this Saturday, as the football results roll in and the scores of Bournemouth and Southampton are read out, keep an eye out for Poole Town - chances are they’re winning.