Pike lines up Spanish winger

Gosport Borough manager Alex Pike  Picture: Malcolm Wells
Gosport Borough manager Alex Pike Picture: Malcolm Wells
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Alex Pike has taken a leaf from local cricket clubs after agreeing to sign an overseas player for next season.

The Gosport Borough boss has been tipped off about an exciting Spanish winger, who is keen to play in England for the season.

And Pike has now arranged the youngster’s accommodation and sorted him out a place at a language school in Portsmouth.

While Pike is not naming his new recruit until the contract is signed, he believes it’s a concept that can work in football just as well as it does in cricket.

He said: ‘It’s an idea that I picked up from the cricket club.

‘Every year, they bring in an overseas player, someone at the club puts him up and feeds him.

‘The player brings their ability and they gain experience about living and playing in a different country.

‘So it’s been something I have been looking to do for a couple of years.

‘I am following the example of the cricket clubs - I think it can work and it won’t cost us a fortune.’

The player has been recommended by John Clarkson – the former Tiverton manager, who has also coached in Spanish football.

And Clarkson has told Pike that the winger will be able to adapt to the rigours of Conference South football, rather than the more technical brand of the game he is used to playing.

Pike said: ‘John managed for five years in the second tier of Spanish football.

‘He alerted me to this lad and he comes very highly recommended.

‘I trust John. He has had numerous seasons over here at this level of football, he has told me that this player can adjust and he is an exciting prospect.

‘He is certain that he will be the best player in the division.

‘Mind you, I’ve heard that before. We will see.’

Borough start their pre-season training on June 28 and should have their unidentified new recruit in the ranks by then.

With the Privett Park pitch undergoing an extensive overhaul, Pike’s men will be playing all of their pre-season fixtures away from home and start with a trip to Blackfield & Langley on July 5.

Pike said: ‘Hopefully, the lad will fly over in the next couple of weeks.

‘We’ve got his accommodation sorted and he will go to language school in Portsmouth, so he will be in full-time education while he’s here.

‘He speaks reasonable English, but his father wants him to improve his English and to come over and play football for a year.

‘But he hasn’t signed a contract as yet so I have to be a bit careful.

‘I don’t want anyone coming in and pinching him from us before he’s signed.

‘I’ve been told he’s a flying right winger and scored 20 goals in the second tier of Spanish football last season.

‘So I think it’s certainly worth exploring.

‘If this one works, I will be scouring the rest of the world!

‘I will be bringing them in from South America and all sorts.

‘We will be multi-national Gosport Borough.

‘Things are pretty much in place for the new season and we are looking forward to getting back into it.’