Gosport Borough boss Shaun Gale on Theo Lewis and Pat O’Flaherty departures

Shaun Gale has lifted the lid on the reasons behind the departures of Theo Lewis and goalkeeper Pat O'Flaherty.

By Lewis Mason
Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 1:00 pm
Pat O'Flaherty in Southern League action for Gosport Borough against Dorchester. Picture: Keith Woodland
Pat O'Flaherty in Southern League action for Gosport Borough against Dorchester. Picture: Keith Woodland

The pair have opted for moves away from Boro, with Lewis joining National League South side Hungerford while O'Flaherty has made the switch to Southern League Premier South rivals Salisbury.Gale revealed Oxford-based former Hawks midfielder Lewis wanted to play closer to home.But the Boro boss was slightly disappointed by goalkeeper O'Flaherty's exit. The former AFC Bournemouth stopper had initially committed to the club for next term before a change of heart saw him opt to join Salisbury instead.On the departure of the duo, Gale said: 'With Theo, he wants to be nearer to home, he’s Oxford-based and wants to be nearer to home.‘I had an honest conversation with him, Hungerford is on his doorstep, it’s Conference South so I get it.‘He’s got a young family and he wants to be nearer to them. It’s a shame to lose him, I thank him for his services, but ultimately he decided that’s better for him and I get that.‘He was here for four seasons (Pat), obviously I only got to work with Pat over a short period of time. A few months ago I’d spoken to him in the lockdown and he’d agreed to stay but he then decided he wanted to move.‘I’m a great believer you don’t have anyone who doesn’t want to be at your football club.‘At the end of the day, I wish him all the best, there are hundreds of goalkeepers out there, we need to replace him with a better goalkeeper - if not as good as.‘It won’t be easy because he is a very good goalkeeper, but he felt Salisbury was a bigger club for him and they’ve been in and around the play-offs in the past few years and he wants to be around it.‘I feel a little bit disappointed that he doesn’t know who I’m bringing in and what squad I’m building this year - I’d like to think we’d be around it.'Gosport have already announced experienced quartet Mike Carter, Rory Williams, Ryan Woodford and Dan Wooden will be remaining at the club next season.Both Pat Suraci and Joe Lea, who head up Boro's centre of excellence, have also re-signed for next term.