Pike denies Bashley job link

Gosport Borough boss Alex Pike
Gosport Borough boss Alex Pike
Ryan Pennery netted for Moneyfields. Picture: Neil Marshall (171026-11)

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Alex Pike insists he will not allow himself to be distracted by rumours linking him to the Bashley job.

The New Forest club are currently bottom of the Southern League Premier division – the league below Gosport Borough –with just two points from 14 games this season and a playing budget that has been slashed.

That might not normally be an attractive proposition, but there is talk that Ray Pinney – a former chairman at Bashley – is planning significant investment in the club.

And with Pike’s home just five minutes away from the Recreation Ground, the Borough boss certainly did not suggest it was a rumour without any foundation to it.

But ahead of tonight’s Russell-Cotes Cup home clash with Totton & Eling, Pike remains focused on his job at Privett Park.

He said: ‘There has been no approach from Bashley whatsoever. But I can understand how the rumours have come about.

‘Bashley is five minutes from my home in the New Forest and I’ve got a lot of respect for Ray Pinney.

‘As far as I’m aware, he is not on the committee, but he goes to watch every game and if he gets the right people involved, he is capable of putting significant investment into a club.

‘He’s a football person. I went to watch Bashley and myself and Ray were spotted talking after the game for half an hour.

‘Bashley are a proud club with a great tradition there.

‘So anytime something like that comes up as a football manager, you’ve got to be flattered.

‘But I haven’t heard anything from Bashley. We’ve got a job to do here. I don’t want any distractions.’

While there may be an attraction in leading a rescue mission at Bashley, Pike admitted it would take something special to walk away from the Skrill South level of football and his hometown club.

‘Although I live in the New Forest, I was born and bred in Gosport – this is my home town,’ said Pike.

‘Everybody’s dream is to play for or manage their hometown club. And it’s taken me years as a manager to get to this level and I won’t give that up freely.

‘Winning a game in the FA Trophy against Dorchester at the weekend is papering over the cracks.

‘I’ve got to pull this team together to make sure we finish as high as we possible can. There is work to be done here.’

Pike also insists he will be taking tonight’s clash seriously against the Wessex League outfit.

He said: ‘We are the defending champions and we haven’t got the reserve side so the lads on the bench from the weekend – Gareth Barfoot, Adam Wilde, Jack Barton and Rory Williams will all start.

‘We will be putting a quality side out and we want to do well in this competition.’

Meanwhile, Borough were handed a home tie in the first round of the FA Trophy in yesterday’s draw.

They will host either Concord Rangers or Dulwich Hamlet on November 30.