Admittedly, it’s not quite Sydney, but surely it deserved more of a chance than that?
Gosport Borough’s overseas player, Tom Gallop, has turned his back on the club after less than three weeks in town and has decided he’s not coming back for the club’s Southern Electric Premier League division three campaign.
The 19-year-old batsman decided he had seen enough of Privett Park’s pleasant wide open spaces, the continental cafe culture of the pedestrianised high street and 17 miles of waterfront.
And even the walks through the revamped ferry gardens and the award-winning regeneration projects of Gosport weren’t enough to convince the Aussie to stay.
Instead, he’s gone off to try his luck in the big smoke of London and may yet even return to Australia to leave Borough searching for a new overseas player to fill the void.
Skipper Simon Creal said: ‘Admittedly, it’s not a great start to the season!
‘He’d spent a week in London with family and then told us he was homesick and wasn’t going to be coming back.
‘That obviously wasn’t great news to hear.
‘The main thing that probably hasn’t helped was that he’d been over here for three or four weeks and hadn’t even got his cricket bag out.
‘It’s freezing cold, it’s raining and you can understand him thinking “Do I really want to do this?”
‘But the league should allow us to de-register him and get another overseas player over.
‘If we can get one by the end of the month, it’s not the worst thing in the world.
‘To be successful, I think you need an overseas player.
‘I still think we would hold our own if we didn’t have one, but the club is ambitious and we want to progress.
‘Of course it’s disappointing but I always think these things happen for a reason.’
Borough have been successful in previous seasons – with Australian batsman Chris Lynn making a huge impact during his stint at the club.
Creal said: ‘We’ve had some great overseas players in the past here.
‘It’s good for the club and I think it’s good for these young players to get some experience of playing in different conditions and at a club who welcomes them in.
‘Chris was the one who stands out. He was a great player and he went on to get picked up for the IPL.
‘With a bit of luck, we will have a new one coming in soon enough.
‘It’s disappointing that you spend a lot of time and effort to get a player to sign. It’s not an easy process.
‘But we’re on the trail of a player from New Zealand who looks like he has an excellent record and we’re hopeful that will happen.’
With Gallop no longer in the plans, Conor Regan is also unavailable this weekend so Matt Johnson and Ben Erridge replace them.
GOSPORT: Simon Creal, Mark Toogood, Lee Harrop, Craig Stares, Tom Larner, Charlie Pennicott, Pete Robson, Matt Johnson,
Ben Erridge, Richie Edwards, Mark Oxford.