Stiles lauds leader Moody after defender fills Hardy void

New Fareham captain Gary Moody, left       Picture: Keith Woodland
New Fareham captain Gary Moody, left Picture: Keith Woodland
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Fareham Town manager Pete Stiles has lauded the quality of defender Gary Moody after handing him the captain's armband.

With Craig Hardy returning to AFC Portchester, Stiles needed a new leader and Moody was the obvious choice.

'Gary has been immense for us this season,' said the Reds boss.

'I rate him as one of the best defenders in our league.

‘He is a no-nonsense character and hates losing games.

'I have known him a long time and he was with me when I was in charge of Portchester reserves.

'He plays a vital part in our side and has displayed good leadership qualities.'

Stiles believes when he can field his strongest team they can be a match for anyone in the league.

They gave further evidence of that in their recent 5-0 win at Bemerton Heath Harlequins.

'Bemerton is never an easy place to go to,' added Stiles.

'Now, though, we are starting to see greater competition for places.

'Previously, we were down to the bare bones and having to put square pegs in round holes.'

Stiles has bolstered his squad with a few new faces, including Lewis Stockford, Louis Castles and Andreas Carrera.

Stockford scored on his debut at Bemerton but won't be available again for another couple of weeks.

The experienced Castles has arrived from Horndean and Carreras was a surprise acquisition from United Services Portsmouth’s reserves.

Stiles said: 'Picking up the extra players will strengthen us in the latter part of the season.

'Stockford is a quality player who can pick his passes and make things happen.

'Castles has lots of experience.

'Carrera is studying at Portsmouth University and was signed by our reserve team manager.

'He looks useful and at the same time has a bit to learn.

'We also have Gary Austin back from a rib injury and his experience is vital.'

Fareham face a tough week starting with a game at Christchurch on Tuesday night.

On Saturday league leaders Sholing visit Cams Alders.