Pike pleased with Gosport Borough double swoop

Ryan Woodford. Picture Ian Hargreaves (131022-6)
Ryan Woodford. Picture Ian Hargreaves (131022-6)
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Alex Pike believes the Vanarama Conference South’s best defence just got even better after the recruitment of two new centre-backs.

Ryan Woodford made the short trip from the Hawks, while Farnborough’s Adam Brice has also signed up for the new campaign at Gosport Borough as Pike’s summer plans begin to take shape.

Borough conceded just 40 goals all last season – the lowest in the division.

But the Borough boss saw his resources stretched to breaking point at various times and has acted to add more strength in depth.

Regular right-back, Andy Forbes, has retired and Pike is due to hold talks with Brett Poate over a new deal in the near future.

Pike said: ‘We had the best defensive record in the league last season and we’ve added two more quality defenders in Ryan Woodford and Adam Bryce.

‘If I had injuries last season, I was scratching around to replace defenders with midfielders.

‘We didn’t have enough defenders to push those who were in the team or slot in when we had injuries or suspensions, but I’m quite happy now.

‘I’ve got six solid defenders fighting for four places. There is a bit more depth there now.

‘We know all about Ryan and Adam was Farnborough’s best player when we played them three times last season.

‘In two of those games, he was the best player on the park.’

The two centre-backs are not the only new faces at Privett Park with young striker Kieran Stephen also joining the ranks after impressing in the friendly with Salisbury.

Both Andy Robinson – who ended the season at right-back – and midfielder Mike Carter have penned new two-year deals, while Adam Wilde and Steve Ramsey will be in the squad next season.

Although Borough’s plans for next season are in good order, there is still a major question mark hanging over Matt Paterson’s future.

The former Southampton forward struck up a fruitful partnership with Justin Bennett last term and has been offered a new deal, even though the club has an option to extend his current contract.

Pike said: ‘We are trying to give Matt a new improved deal and we are waiting to hear from him.

‘He has gone away but we do have an option on him.

‘We don’t want to take it up because we want to give him an improved deal but we do have that safety net if it’s needed.’

Meanwhile, Bradley Bubb, Alan Connell and Nick Awford have all left the Hawks.

– STEVE WILSON