Steve Ramsey is fast becoming the driving force in the Hawks’ midfield and could soon find himself in the shop window.
The Westleigh Park club sold fellow midfielder Wes Fogden this season to Bournemouth, for a fee reputed to be in the region of £45,000, and manager Shaun Gale believes Ramsey is another who could progress to a higher level.
For the time being, though, the Hawks are reluctant to lose him as they look to keep daylight between themselves and the Blue Square South relegation zone.
Ramsey put in a man-of-the-match performance in the 2-2 home draw against Hampton & Richmond Borough at the weekend despite suffering mixed fortunes.
The former Pompey trainee didn’t let the disappointment of missing a penalty affect him and went on to score an equaliser before the break.
Ramsey’s finish was clinical, after he was put in by Scott Jones, holding off his defender before confidently tucking his shot across the goalkeeper into the far corner.
He went close to grabbing a second goal after the interval with another cross-shot that bounced out off the foot of the far post.
‘I think he caught his spot-kick too sweet,’ said Gale.
‘It was a fantastic performance from him and it should have been capped off with a win.
‘We have had Steve here for a few seasons and he has worked hard at his game.
‘He is one who could easily play at a much higher level and is an all-round midfield player.
‘The lad has a lot in his locker and is adding greater consistency.
‘His control and passing are first-rate and he has the ability to go past people.
‘He has also shown that, as well as creating chances, he can score goals.’
The early part of Ramsey’s season was blighted by suspension after he was sent off twice in quick succession.
Since then, though, the youngster has added greater control to his game without losing the competitive edge needed in the middle of the park.
When he first arrived at Westleigh Park after his release from Pompey, Ramsey struggled to complete 90 minutes, but hard work has seen him become physically stronger.
A lot of that was achieved by the player dedicating himself to extra fitness work away from the club in his own time.
‘For me, if someone was able to work with him full-time then the results could be frightening,’ said Gale.
‘He already shows great energy, great desire, wears his heart on his sleeve and wants to improve his game.’