Moneys forced to prepare for life after Hutchings

Moneyfields striker Steve Hutchings
Moneyfields striker Steve Hutchings
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Miles Rutherford has a void to fill for next season, with top striker Steve Hutchings set to depart for Australia.

The talented forward is moving Down Under and will be sadly missed at the Copnor club.

His goals have helped keep them on track for a top-three finish in the Wessex League premier division.

Unfortunately – though Rutherford will not give up hope – it looks like Hutchings will leave without a championship medal in his pocket.

Second-placed side Blackfield & Langley have games in hand on Moneys and leaders Alresford.

They look the strongest-placed of the title-chasers.

Realistically, third is the most likely finishing position for Moneyfields.

And Rutherford will also need to consider how he fills the gap left by the exit of Hutchings who will miss the final stages of the campaign.

The Moneyfields boss said: ‘That has come as a real blow.

‘Steve will be a hard act to follow, though I understand his reason to try his fortune in Australia.

‘He is a young man looking for an adventure and we all wish him well.

‘The door here will always be open for him to return, his efforts here have made him very much a fans’ favourite and we will be sorry to see him go.

‘Naturally he will be missed but at least he could be here until the last few matches of the season.

‘It would have been nice for him to end up with a championship medal, he has been worth at least that.’

Rutherford’s men have been bugged by inconsistency this season.

It has been a real source of frustration for the manager.

He said: ‘I haven’t expected us to go the entire season unbeaten but to lose matches we should have won shows we lack something and that needs to be put right.

‘I have players here who are honest enough to say they haven’t played as well as they can this season – not because of lack of effort but something else that they, as well as us on the coaching side, are trying to find a reason for.

‘It’s never over until it’s over and we are still in the hunt – just – but for me the way forward is to continue bringing youngsters through into the first team.

‘Alresford have done just that – building a side based on youth who have been the revelation of the season.

‘That has always been our plan as well.

‘All we can do is crack on and start off with a few new faces in the squad who could make the difference between finishing in the top four or five and winning the league title next season.’