Tim Snowden reckons Gosport & Fareham have proved they are worthy of the jump to London one south.
With promotion already settled – following a London two south west title-clinching win over Old Reigatians – the skipper led his team out against Basingstoke in a repeat of last season’s Hampshire Cup final.
And despite being beaten by their London one south hosts, the performance showed plenty of promise as the club looks forward to next term.
‘Some you win and some you lose and we are obviously gutted to lose it,’ said Snowden.
‘But I’m really proud of the boys because the performance we put in was a good one. That’s what we are going to come up against week in, week out next season and I think we can hold our heads high.
‘We are definitely looking forward to next year – it’s going to be a tough season but you never know what might happen.
‘I am gutted but, overall, we have had a superb season.’
Snowden praised the second-half display of Basingstoke before saluting Gosport’s tremendous travelling support.
‘I thought we started off exceptionally well and we were carrying well,’ he said.
‘But we lost two key players in Ash Burton and Wayne Dugan, who were making real inroads into their defensive lines. It was tough having to reshuffle things.
‘But the boys who came in did well and we were in there right the way through.
‘In the second half it slipped away from us but Basingstoke played really well.
‘For me, personally, and for the boys, I would like to thank everybody who came along to support us.
‘The team are really pleased with all the support we have had this season at home and away – especially away.
‘We definitely won on the supporters’ front here – at times it sounded like we were at Gosport Park!
‘Perhaps next year they will pick a different venue for the final because we definitely fancy playing in it again.’
Under the stewardship of head coach Mark Wells, Snowden is sure Gosport & Fareham will step up to the new challenge next term.
‘We know exactly what we have to do,’ added the skipper.
‘If we didn’t before the game, we certainly do now.
‘The pace is slightly higher and the fitness is better.
‘This season we have torn teams apart with our pace but it’s going to go up a notch now.
‘We need to realise that but I’m sure Mr Wells has a plan to deal with it and get us all in great shape for next season.’