Gosport had to grant Ashmore his Ebbsfleet move

Nathan Ashmore
Nathan Ashmore
Rowan Vine. Picture: Keith Woodland

Vine disappointed not to get Gosport manager role

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Nathan Ashmore has been backed to become a Football League keeper after making the move to Ebbsfleet.

Gosport Borough received a ‘substantial’ fee for their number one who has gone to a club where he can train full-time.

Times are tough at Privett Park, with financial problems making it difficult for manager Alex Pike to keep his team flying high.

Assistant boss Mick Catlin has insisted money was not a factor in the decision to allow Ashmore to move on, though.

He is surprised the keeper has not been snapped up by a Football League club earlier.

But Ebbsfleet, who lead the Vanarama National League South and host Gosport tomorrow, have big ambitions and Catlin believes the switch will be good for Ashmore.

He said: ‘I’m pleased for Nathan, he will be a full-time professional now.

‘We couldn’t stand in his way. I have said all along he is good enough to be playing in the Football League.

‘The money will help us financially but it wasn’t the reason for the move.

‘Nathan wanted to be a full-time professional and we could never stand in the way of anyone who wants to progress their career.

‘Ebbsfleet look like they will get promoted and they have the infrastructure to go on and get into the Football League.

‘So it was not down to the financial situation.

‘We cannot say what the fee is but it is substantial for the club.

‘I am surprised Portsmouth didn’t have more of a look a few years ago when they took him on trial.

‘He has got every attribute you need to be a top class keeper.

‘His work ethic is right and full-time training will allow him to show what he can do.

‘I believe he is as good as some of the keepers in League Two.’

The move means Ashmore could potentially make his debut against his former side tomorrow.

It also leaves Gosport hoping to bring in a loan signing to cover the position.

Catlin said: ‘It will be down to the Ebbsfleet manager whether he plays Nathan or not.

‘We haven’t put any restrictions on it.

‘It will also be down to Nathan to see how he feels about doing it.

‘If he is in goal for them we will know a little bit about him. They might not want to take that risk.

‘We are working to get a keeper in, we have a couple of loan options and we are confident of having something in place for tomorrow’s match.

‘Jordan Seabright has played for us earlier in the season and he is already signed on.’

Catlin is hopeful midfielder George Barker will change his decision to leave Privett Park.

Barker had served his notice after not being paid but Gosport are still in talks with the player.

‘I believe George might be rethinking his decision to leave the club,’ said Catlin.

‘We hope we might be able to persuade him to come back and play.’