AFC PORTCHESTER are determined to keep their top stars as they prepare to kick off life under new head coach Graham Rix tomorrow.
The former Pompey boss begins his tenure with a tough task at third-placed Christchurch.
And director of football Mick Jenkins insists the club will do everything they can to ward off any interest from rival clubs in their top stars – including Wessex League premier division top-scorer Simon Woods.
‘We are ambitious as a club,’ said Jenkins.
‘The future is all about keeping our best players, where possible, and improving things by adding to our squad.
‘I wouldn’t have thought our players would consider going to another team at our level.
‘But if they wanted to try at a higher level we wouldn’t stand in their way.’
Jenkins added that bringing in Rix shows the club are going places.
They are chasing two signings to boost the squad.
Jenkins said: ‘We are looking to bring in another striker and defender before the March deadline.
‘Our aim is to continue improving the facilities off the pitch and the team on it.
‘Bringing Graham Rix in is a big part of that.
‘We know he doesn’t have a magic wand to change things over night and faces a difficult start.
‘His first four matches are all against top sides – Christchurch, Alresford, Bemerton and Downton.
‘We are hoping the players will rise to the challenge.’
In-form Moneyfields could go top of the Wessex premier by beating lowly Lymington Town at Dover Road (3pm).
Miles Rutherford’s side were impressive in their 4-0 demolition of Fareham Town in midweek.
Powerful striker Steve Hutchings scored twice and will pose problems for the New Forest side.
Fareham bid to bounce back against Blackfield & Langley at Cams Alders (3pm).
Horndean host Isle of Wight outfit Newport IW at Five Heads Park (3pm) and Hayling United welcome Totton & Eling to Hayling College (3pm).