Gosport Borough’s bid to make a flying start to life in the Skrill South has been undermined by a registration embargo, The News understands.
Alex Pike steered the Privett Park outfit to a brilliant play-off triumph in the Southern League premier division last term.
The manager is determined to make his side a success at the higher level.
However, his hopes of landing early blows have been hampered by restrictions imposed by the Football Conference.
The embargo, which is believed to be the result of unresolved tax issues, has left Pike unable to register more than 16 players in his Skrill South squad.
During the opening weeks of the season it is understood Borough had to de-register injured players, such as Brett Poate and Luke King.
This meant the club were then able to register replacements to fill their match-day squads.
Borough are clearly anticipating a resolution to the matter soon, though – as Pike hopes to hand a debut to on-loan Pompey midfielder Nick Awford tomorrow.
The talent impressed alongside Poate in a friendly with Salisbury City on Monday night.
Borough, who currently sit third from bottom, host Maidenhead United at Privett Park tomorrow as their hunt for a maiden Skrill South success continues.
They have suffered defeats at the hands of Dover Athletic, Basingstoke Town and Bromley, while netting points in draws with Bath City and Dorchester Town.
Pike and the Football Conference refused to comment.
Borough chairman Mark Hook was unavailable.