‘I can’t stop my lads playing Sunday football’ – US Portsmouth boss Tom Grice after striker Brodie Spencer suffers broken leg in Sunday cup tie

US Portsmouth boss Tom Grice admits he is powerless to prevent his players turning out in Sunday League football.

By Simon Carter
Friday, 22nd October 2021, 10:12 am
Brodie Spencer (left) suffered a broken leg playing Sunday football for Seagull last weekend. Picture: Neil Marshall
Brodie Spencer (left) suffered a broken leg playing Sunday football for Seagull last weekend. Picture: Neil Marshall

Striker Brodie Spencer suffered a broken leg last weekend playing for Seagull in a Sunday cup tie against Purbrook.

Spencer had been a regular for USP this season, appearing in 14 of the club’s 16 first team matches in league and cup action, scoring three times.

The injury has reopened a debate about whether players appearing at Wessex League level should play on a Sunday as well.

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‘I can’t stop my lads from playing Sunday football,’ he said. ‘I’d be a bit of a hypocrite if I did as I used to do it as well.

‘I can’t fine them for playing on a Sunday - if I did I wouldn’t have any players left.

‘There’s always a risk playing a Sunday. I know there’s risks on a Saturday but it seems you get a far higher amount of injuries on a Sunday.

‘Perhaps it (Spencer’s injury) will be a bit of a turning point for some of the other lads, but I can’t control it.

‘The issue you’ve got is that players of a certain age, all they want to do is play football and they don’t care what level it’s at.’

The USP squad have had a whip round to raise some cash for Spencer, while Moneyfields’ players have donated £100. ‘Moneyfields have been brilliant,’ said Grice.

USP host inconsistent Hamble Club in the Wessex Premier this Saturday.

Grice watched Hamble lose 4-0 at home to AFC Portchester - who US face in league action next Tuesday - in the Wessex League Cup recently.

‘Defensively they (Hamble) looked vulnerable, but Portchester had Ryan Pennery and Sam Pearce up front and that was a difficult combination to defend against,’ remarked Grice.

‘We’ve got the tools to cause them problems, but it depends what US side turn up on the day. Our spirits are high, which might sound a bit weird to say as we lost (4-3 at Stoneham) last week, but the players know we dominated large portions of the game.’

Hamble’s main threat to a leaky USP defence will be 10-goal top scorer Sam Woodward, while the Monks have also recently signed forward Jean-Pierre Alexander from Horndean.