Louis Bell hails ‘heart-warming’ loyalty of players who have stayed for Moneyfields’ Portsmouth Senior Cup semi-final with Fareham Town
Moneyfields interim manager Louis Bell hailed the 'loyalty' of the players who have remained at the club to help them try to retain the Portsmouth Senior Cup.
The holders head into Saturday's delayed 2019-20 season semi-final with Fareham Town without the manager and a number of squad members who helped them reach this stage of the competition.
Since taking over as AFC Portchester boss two months ago, former boss Dave Carter has signed Jake Hallett, Sam Pearce, George Barker, Tom Dinsmore, Lewis Fennemore, Marley Ridge and Lamin Jatta.
But Bell, who will be in charge alongside Louis Savage for the semi-final with Fareham, thanked the senior players who've remained to see out the current season.
He praised senior players Curt Da Costa, Connor Hoare, Conor Bailey and striker Steve Hutchings for sticking around at least the remainder of their delayed Portsmouth Senior Cup push.
Bell said: 'We’ve got the stalwarts like Curt Da Costa, his attitude has been great, I can’t fault the lad.
‘He’s been giving everything in training as have Connor Hoare, Conor Bailey and Steve Hutchings.
‘Steve has been tempted by some good offers but he’s told us he’s staying and hopefully he’ll be playing against Fareham.
‘Curt Da Costa has really led by example. His whole attitude has been absolutely brilliant. We’ve had some tough sessions and I do put the boys through their paces and they’ve responded really well.
‘For myself and Louis (Savage), it’s been fantastic to see them put something back into the club. It’s heart-warming, really, especially in this day and age.'
Bell revealed he is planning to promote a number of reserves to the first team squad for the Fareham semi.
He said he's been 'pleasantly surprised' by some of the club's youngsters having watched a few games in recent weeks.
Bell also thanked Chichester City manager Miles Rutherford and his assistant Graeme Gee for making Moneyfields dual-signed trio Steve Mowthorpe, Ben Pashley and Lloyd Rowlatt available for the PSC tie.
He added: 'It’s been difficult but what it has made me do is have a look at some of the players coming through the system and who might be good enough to step up.
‘I’ve been pleasantly surprised by it with some of the young lads that are coming through and who will be given a chance.
‘Steve Mowthorpe is dual-signed with Moneyfields and Chichester City so Miles and Graeme have been great.
‘There are three or four who we could use with Pasher (Ben Pashley) and Lloyd Rowlatt, who played for Moneyfields before.'