Moneyfields chairman Seiden: We want to give Wessex League promotion challenge ‘a right go’ next season

Moneyfields boss Glenn Turnbull is being asked to piece together a squad good enough to challenge for Wessex League promotion next season.

By Simon Carter
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 10:12 am

The former US Portsmouth boss led Moneys to ninth place in his first season in charge in 2021/22 - the club’s first season back at step 5 after four years in the Southern League.

Moneys finished 26 points adrift of the top two, though were handicapped by injuries to top scorers Steve Hutchings and James Franklyn.

Now chairman Pete Seiden is anticipating a higher finish next season with the club installed at their brand new John Jenkins Stadium.

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James Franklyn only appeared in 65 per cent of Moneyfields' Wessex League games in 2021/22, but still finished as their second top scorer with 18 goals. Picture: Keith Woodland

‘Coming back into the Wessex, it was what we thought it would be - good, exciting, big crowds, lots of derbies,’ Seiden told The News.

‘Had we not had the injuries to Hutchings and Franklyn, we would have been a lot higher up. Every team would miss their two top scorers.’

Skipper Hutchings only appeared in 22 of the 40 league games - 55 per cent of the fixtures - but still netted 21 times. Only nine players scored more Wessex Premier goals than he did in 2021/22, with Stoneham’s Callum Laycock making the next fewest appearances (28 matches, 25 goals).

Attacking midfielder, meanwhile, Franklyn made 26 appearances (65 per cent) and scored 18 goals - no penalties - in his debut Wessex Premier campaign.

‘It was a good season, but we’ll be looking to kick on,’ said Seiden.

When asked if a Southern League return was the ultimate ambition, he replied: ‘One hundred per cent. That’s Glenn’s long-term remit, but we want to be up there challenging next year.

‘With the new ground, we’ll be more financially secure to go back into the Southern League.

‘We want to give it a right go (next season). If we can sign the players we’re looking at, and keep the squad fit, I’d be looking at the top four - and anything can happen then. Bashley (runners-up in 2021/22) came from nowhere.’

Seiden expects an interesting close season of squad building for the six Portsmouth area clubs in the Wessex Premier.

‘I think Portchester will be the team to beat next season, but I know everybody was saying that last year as well,’ he remarked.

‘I call it the ‘wild, wild Wessex at the moment. There’s six clubs all fighting for 50 top players in the area.

‘Glenn will have a very similar budget, and he’s got to go out and get the players he wants.’

Seiden was delighted with Turnbull’s recent appointment of AFC Portchester stalwart Joe Noakes as his new assistant following Fraser Quirke’s resignation.

‘Joe knows a different group of players and he will have different views and new ideas. We’re excited to see what he will bring.’

Currently, Moneys expect to move into the John Jenkins Stadium at the beginning of October. Prior to that, they will either try to reverse fixtures or play home games at US Portsmouth’s Victory Stadium.

Due to the redevelopment work at their Copnor base, Moneys played their final two home league games of 2021/22 at USP. The reserves finished their home programme in Petersfield.