League clubs tracking Borough man

Mike Carter. Picture: Sarah Standing (142984-2861)
Mike Carter. Picture: Sarah Standing (142984-2861)
Scott Hamilton scores Fareham's second goal. Picture: Neil Marshall (171158-8)

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Alex Pike has revealed that Football League clubs are stepping up their interest in his star midfielder Mike Carter.

The 23-year-old midfielder joined the Privett Park outfit in the summer after six years with Wessex League outfit Sholing.

Carter felt the time had come to test himself three divisions higher and he has shown he is more than capable of playing at Vanarama Conference South level with a string of impressive displays.

But after he stood out for Borough in their FA Cup first round defeat to Colchester, the League One side have tracked his progress and are expected to watch him again tomorrow as Borough host Basingstoke in a league clash.

But Colchester are not alone, according to Borough boss Alex Pike.

Pike said: ‘It’s only third hand, but we’ve heard that there are a number of clubs interested in Carter and they are clubs from the Football League.

‘Nobody has made an official approach.

‘He played against Colchester and they have said they are keeping tabs on him.

‘They have had a couple of tickets on the gate for every game since.

‘We’ve had Burnley and Barnsley watching our games recently as well.

‘There is interest in him and quite rightly so. I can’t think of a better all-round midfielder in our league at the moment.

‘If he can add some goals, people would be snapping away trying to sign him.

‘For me, that is an area where he can improve. But it’s worth remembering that this is his first season at this level.’

Although Pike refused to put a price tag on the former Southampton trainee, he has no issues if his players are snapped up to go into the pro ranks.

He said: ‘I think he is good enough.

‘It reflects well on us as a club and we would never stand in anyone’s way.

‘He has a contract with a one-year option and we will be taking that up.

‘But if an official approach came in, it would be down to the chairman to negotiate the deal.

‘He seems to make space and time for himself and he keeps it simple but he’s got that bit of quality.

‘He’s a few yards ahead of everyone else and that’s what I would expect of a professional footballer.’

Borough beat the same opponents 2-1 after extra-time in the FA Trophy replay in midweek and face a third meeting in a week against the same opponents.

But Pike believes he has a new secret weapon up his sleeve after Lee Wort came on and impressed as a winger.

The Borough boss said: ‘When Worty came on, he changed the game.

‘We know he is not a winger and we lose something defensively but it gives you something extra going the other way. He gave their left-back something extra to think about and set up the winner.

‘I’ve been looking to get my three strikers on the park at the same time and maybe we’ve found something.

‘The way that Basingstoke set up, I can’t see any reason why it can’t work again.’

BOROUGH: (from) Ashmore, Dunford, Pearce, Poate, Williams, Carter, Smith, Ramsey, Wilde, Bennett, Paterson, Shaw, Saez, Molyneaux, Wooden, Wort, Forbes.