Ex-Hawks boss Shaun Gale has predicted a bright future for midfielder Steve Ramsey.
Gale, who lost his job at Westleigh Park in March, believes Ramsey can follow Wes Fogden’s lead and make a name for himself in the Football League.
Fogden was snapped up by League One outfit Bournemouth midway through last season and has gone on to earn a new-and-improved contract with the Cherries.
Gale believes Ramsey will be a major player for the Hawks this term in the Blue Square Bet South under new boss Stuart Ritchie.
But he is convinced the former Pompey reserve-team player could make the grade at a higher level.
‘Steve is a fantastic talent,’ said Gale.
‘He has all the ability and attributes and I still believe he can play at a higher level.
‘If the Hawks are going to push for promotion next season he will be a big player.
‘The lad has come on massively in the last few years and we worked hard on developing his game.
‘When he arrived, like a lot of players when first released from the professional game, he struggled.
‘There were fitness issues and a need for him to become more involved in games.
‘To his credit, though, he went away and did the necessary work.
‘He no longer goes missing for spells in games and he has also proved that he can score goals.’
Coventry-born Ramsey was released by Pompey in May 2008 after making 30 reserve-team appearances in the previous two seasons.
Ramsey was one of the first names on the Hawks teamsheet last season, making 43 appearances and scoring 14 goals.
He started off in the centre of midfield but, once moved to a wider role, became far more potent as a goalscorer.
Ramsey showed great ability to cut in from the flanks and use his ability to shoot powerfully with both feet to full effect.
Few players in the Blue Square Bet South possess a better delivery, and he took responsibility for the majority of free-kicks and corners.
Strikers Ollie Palmer and Scott Jones were hugely indebted to his pin-point deliveries into the box, which should have brought far more goals.
‘Steve possesses a fantastic engine and can get from box to box,’ said Gale.
‘In many ways, he is your all-round midfield player.’
n The Hawks board of directors are planning to meet today to discuss the ‘illegal payments’ accusations made against the club by Carshalton player Tom Davis at the weekend.
Davis accused Hawks vice-chairman Jim Fallon of offering him a ‘cash under the table deal’ to sign for the club.
It’s the first time the board will have been able to get together since the story broke in Sunday’s Non-League Paper.
So far the Hawks have failed to issue a statement on the allegations, while chairman Derek Pope has been unavailable for comment.