AFC Portchester forced to cancel training session as a precaution with flu bug ripping through squad ahead of Alresford league meeting
Dave Carter has doubts over a number of first-teamers for Saturday's home Wessex League Premier Division meeting with Alresford as a flu bug rips through his AFC Portchester squad.
The Royals boss has taken the step to cancel tonight's (Thursday) planned training session in a bid to stop the spread of the virus - although he made it clear none of his players have contracted Covid-19.
Portchester were without Conor Bailey, Olly Searle, Owen Roundell and George Colson for the midweek League Cup win at Hamble, with all four coming down with the flu.
Since then, it's spread throughout the Portchester squad with Carter himself, assistant manager Gav Spurway, coach Brett Poate, captain Sam Pearce and physio Mark Gibson all struggling with the virus.
Portchester forward Lamin Jatta spent two days in hospital earlier this week with the flu and a sickness bug, although Carter stated he is now recovering back at home.
But the Royals boss is confident he'll be able to get a side out to face Alresford this weekend - it's just a case of which first-teamers and potential under-23 squad members who are available.
Carter said: ‘It was a good win in midweek, but we’re struggling (with availability for Alresford), we’ve got a virus right through the team so we’ve cancelled training tonight (Thursday).
‘We’ve cancelled training tonight to stop it from spreading. It’s not Covid - it’s like a flu bug.
‘Lamin Jatta actually ended up in hospital for two days, he had sickness and flu - he’s out now - I think it only lasted two or three days looking at it.
‘We had about four or five missing on Tuesday (for Hamble cup win) - Conor Bailey, George Colson, Owen Roundell and Olly Searle.
‘The physio (Mark Gibson) was sick as well and he’s in bed rough. Me, Gav (Spurway; assistant manager), Poatey (Brett Poate; coach) and Pearcey (Sam Pearce) have all got it - it’s gone right through the team.
‘I’m optimistic that people will be cleared up and okay for Saturday. It’s trying to stay away from each other for the next couple of days so we’ve cancelled training training.
‘We’ll try to pick a side from what we’ve go on Friday. It’s a bit of a difficult one, I’m assuming the lads who had it early - Bailey (Conor), Roundell (Owen) and those lads (will be okay) - then seeing who’s okay elsewhere.’
Whatever team Carter manages to get out, he knows his men are in for a tough afternoon against an indifferent Alresford side.
Despite currently sitting 17th with just two wins from their opening nine league games, the Magpies have drawn with the three teams in the Wessex Premier top-four they have played so far - taking a point from home meetings with fourth-placed Hamworthy, Baffins Milton Rovers – in third and drawing 0-0 on the opening-day at second-placed Horndean.
Portchester boss Carter said: ‘They (Alresford) are a bit of a strange side at the moment, they seem to pick up points against the better sides in the league but get beaten by teams lower down.
‘They’re sat down in 17th, they lost to Stoneham at the weekend, but they beat Shaftesbury who are a half decent side, they drew with Hamworthy, Baffins and Horndean and they’re still in the FA Vase.’