Three signings gearing up for next task in Portchester Wessex League Cup defence

Max Davies has joined up with AFC Portchester from United Services. Picture: Keith Woodland
Max Davies has joined up with AFC Portchester from United Services. Picture: Keith Woodland
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AFC Portchester could throw three new faces straight into the side at Portland United as they look to defend their Wessex League Cup crown.

Manager Mick Catlin is planning to ring the changes and give his squad a more youthful look.

He has signed attacking midfielder Liam Kimber, from Horndean, left-back Harry Bedford, from Moneyfields, and forward Max Davies, from United Services Portsmouth.

They could all be involved on Saturday (3pm).

Catlin accepts it is a bit of a gamble but insists it is the way forward for the Royals.

He said: ‘We are looking to give some of the best young players in the area a chance.

‘They are all 18-year-olds and are hungry to do well in the Wessex League.

‘That has to be the model we are going for moving forwards.

‘The average age of our side is now around 20 years which bodes well for the future.

‘It gives them half a season to show what they are capable of.

‘With young players it is always a gamble because of their inconsistencies.

‘But if we can get them bedded in at this level then they will come good.

‘We also have some good prospects coming through the reserves and youth teams.

‘With only one team going up in our league this season promotion is a tough ask.

‘I can't see unbeaten Sholing slipping up.

‘It doesn't mean we will give up. We will still go out and try to win all our games.’

If the Royals are to progress in the cup they will need to turn the tables on their Dorset hosts.

Portland beat the Royals 1-0 in a league encounter earlier in the season.

Catlin added: ‘We know it will be a difficult game and we haven't played for two weeks.

‘We have kept training ticking over but that isn't the same as playing.

‘Hopefully we won't be too rusty.

‘As the holders of the cup we want to get through.

‘I expect us to go there, give it a good go and see where it takes us.’