Gosport Borough will be camped in opposition territory – literally – when they play their final pre-season game at Guernsey tonight.
Just a week before the start of the season, Alex Pike saw his plans thrown into chaos for the trip to the Channel Islands when the hotel they were due to be staying in closed down suddenly.
So with no other available hotel rooms on the island, the Borough boys have packed their tents and sleeping bags to stay the night on the adjacent field.
Assistant boss, Mick Catlin, said: ‘Everywhere else was fully booked so as a last resort, I suggested camping.
‘It’s a bit bizarre but if we didn’t go, we wouldn’t have had a game.
‘It’s not ideal but it’s better than the alternative of not playing at all with one week to go.
‘It’s a first for me with a football team but I’ve tried to sell it to them as a team-bonding exercise.
‘We’ve got some pop-up tents, sleeping bags and we will have a night out afterwards, so some of them might not make it back to their tent anyway!’
While Catlin will be on the makeshift camp site, it will surprise nobody that the manager won’t be.
‘Originally, he was mucking in with the troops,’ said the assistant boss.
‘But funnily enough, he is now flying over and has a hotel room sorted for the night!’
Meanwhile, striker Matt Paterson has signed for the club after a successful trial.
The 23-year-old, who started his career at Southampton and was on loan at Hawks last term, has penned a 12-month contract with a one-year option.
– STEVE WILSON