Bell: Portchester are no Wessex League Manchester City

Portchester's Joe Bye challenges for the ball with Perry Ryan, of Hawks, on Monday. Picture: Dave Haines
Portchester's Joe Bye challenges for the ball with Perry Ryan, of Hawks, on Monday. Picture: Dave Haines
Former Pompey chairman Iain McInnes. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Louis Bell has hit out at other clubs who have labelled AFC Portchester as the Manchester City of Wessex League football.

First-team coach Bell has rejected claims the Wicor Rec side are ‘big-spenders’.

‘All the clubs that have levelled this at us are not looking at the bigger picture,’ said Bell.

‘The club is working hard at bringing youngsters through from the reserve and youth set-ups.

‘It is all about building for the future of the club.

‘At Havant on Monday night, the whole of our back four played for us before we got promoted into the premier division.

‘We also saw youngsters like George Wells and Gary Moody taking part and doing admirably.

‘The money we do spend is all raised by hard work behind the scenes and all the other clubs could do the same.

‘It is whether they have the same work ethic.

‘We take no notice of silly comments made by people who don’t know what they are talking about.’

Bell and manager Graham Rix face a tough challenge, taking their side to Fareham Town tonight for a mouthwatering derby (7.45pm).

The Hampshire Senior Cup game against the Hawks on Monday, in tough conditions, will have taken some energy out of Portchester.

They will have to utilise their large squad.

Matt Parr’s Reds did the league double over the Royals last season and are intent on inflicting a repeat on their near neighbours.

‘We need to get winning again in the league,’ said Parr.

‘They had a hard game earlier in the week but they will be up for this one.

‘We know we cannot compete with them financially but we are doing the best we can in our situation.’

The home side are boosted by the return of strikers John Wilson and Ash Tattersall.