Fareham’s young guns impressing as Reds target highest Wessex League finish for a decade

Fareham Town boss Pete Stiles has hailed some of the youngsters who could help the club claim their highest Wessex League finish for a decade.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 1:08 pm
Updated Monday, 10th February 2020, 1:53 pm
Jack Breed, left, is Fareham's Mr Consistency. Picture: Vernon Nash

The Reds will move into the top six on Tuesday night if they can complete a Premier Division double over Tim Sills’ Hamworthy on the Dorset club’s 3G surface.

Fareham have won their last three league games, with youngsters Charlie Cooper, Matt Simm and Jack Breed all appearing in the weekend win against Cowes.

Meanwhile, experienced players such as Gary Austin, Simon Woods and Curt Robbins are on the outside looking in.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Cooper is dual-signed with Salisbury but is a local lad living in Locks Heath.

'He is still only 20 and a very skilful player,' said Stiles.

'At the moment he is enjoying his football with us and it shows.

'The one area I am looking for him to improve is his consistency because he can blow a bit hot and cold.'

Simm has returned to Cams Alders after spells with Moneyfields and AFC Totton.

He has had to be patient since rejoining in December, but has started the last two games and added energy to the side.

Breed is an ex-Gosport Borough player who was a regular at AFC Portchester last season.

'Jack is one of those players that gets a minimum seven out of ten every game,' said Stiles of the Gibraltar under-21 international.

'He works hard and doesn't give the ball away easily.

'Added to that he is very versatile, being able to play on the left or the right and at full-back.'

Fareham are aiming to avoid losing on a 3G pitch for the second time in a week, having exited the Russell Cotes Cup at Alton last Tuesday.

'Hamworthy play on a 3G surface and in the past we have not been great on them,' said Stiles.

' We also have a travel issue with some of our players.

'At least three or four won't be able to get away from work on time so I expect us to be a little under-strength.

'Having said that, we are on a good little winning run and are keen to keep that going.

'Hamworthy's results have been a bit up and down this season but they are always stronger at home.

'We know we will have to treat them with the right amount of respect.'

The Reds - who last finish in the Wessex top six in 2010 - needed a stoppage time goal to edge out Cowes 3-2 at Cams Alders at the weekend.

Though Stiles felt his team deserved the points, he wants to see an improvement in certain areas.

'We got plenty of balls into the Cowes area but no-one got on the end of them,' hee recalled. ‘Also, we need to defend a little better.'