Portsmouth News

‘Hard work’ now begins at Royals

Boss Carter has busy summer ahead at AFC Portcheste­r

- with Lewis Mason sport@thenews.co.uk

AFC Portcheste­r manager Dave Carter faces 'a lot of hard work' this summer as he tries to build a squad capable of winning the Wessex League Premier title.

All focus can now turn to pre-season after the Royals exited the Hampshire Senior Invitation­al Cup competitio­n with a 3-0 quarter-final defeat to Blackfield & Langley at the Crest Finance Stadium.

Carter used a wide range of players during the competitio­n with a view to seeing who he might want to try and keep for 2021/22.

The former Moneyfield­s manager signed several of his former Dover Road squad for the tournament, while he also brought in Stan Bridgman and Bradey Norton.

But Carter reiterated all those new additions will become free agents from May 31 - meaning other clubs can approach them.

He said: 'We’ll be working now behind the scenes, everybody's registrati­ons finish at the end of May so we can’t make any other transfers until then.

‘It’s my time to work hard now and get some players in who are capable of challengin­g for that promotion.

‘It’s going to be hard because there’s only one spot - it’s not going to be easy.

‘They were only a mid-table side last season so that’s what we’ve got to look to improve on.

‘We’ve got a big black book with lots of players' names in with lots of people interested.

‘It’s difficult because you’re playing in this competitio­n and no-one is getting paid or anything like that, so you’ve done no deals with anyone to come in. No-one has signed, really, for next season - all the people have only signed for this season.

‘Everyone is a free agent at the end of May, everyone, unless they’re on contract, so that’s when we’ll look to build our squad for next season.'

Portcheste­r were forced to play Sam Pearce as an emergency goalkeeper in their last-eight defeat to Blackfield.

Both Brad Snelling and Jake Hallett were unavailabl­e so the defender donned the gloves, as he had done during his time at Moneyfield­s.

Mitchell SpeechleyP­rice, Sami Mahkloufi and Flavio Tavarez all struck to send Portcheste­r

crashing out.

But Carter insisted signing up for the supplement­ary cup did have its benefits. He said: ‘It wasn’t a pointless task or exercise for us. ‘Some of the young lads like Harvey Aston, he’s had good minutes in the first team.

‘We’ve trained with the under-23s who are like our reserves so we’ve got a good rapport with them, we’ve built bridges everywhere.

‘I’m pleased we did it (entered the competitio­n). We found a lot out about the players and the people who are there and didn’t know us have found out a lot about us and a lot about the club.

‘We can go into pre-season now ready to challenge for promotion next season.’

We’ve got a big black book with lots of players’ names in and lots of people interested AFC Portcheste­r boss Dave Carter

 ??  ?? FIRST TEAM CHANCES Harvey Aston (blue) was handed Hampshire Invitation Cup opportunit­ies
FIRST TEAM CHANCES Harvey Aston (blue) was handed Hampshire Invitation Cup opportunit­ies

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