Alex Pike has finally ended the speculation over his Gosport Borough future and signed a new two-year-deal.
The Borough boss has been the subject of interest from two Skrill Premier clubs since the end of the season and there was confusion earlier this week when the Privett Park outfit announced he would be staying before Pike had actually agreed terms.
But after discussions with chairman Mark Hook, Borough have finally got their man on board again for the next two campaigns, which will take his tenure beyond 10 years – an unusual feat in non-league football.
Pike said: ‘There might have been a bit of confusion but there was never a war!
‘It was all sorted within five minutes of talking to Mark.
‘I’ve got a good friendship with the chairman, although he has abused that for eight-and-a-half years!
‘I am Gosport born and bred and I am extremely proud to manage my hometown club.
‘I was flattered by the interest from other clubs.
‘But it’s the same with players – if you are doing well, you will attract interest.
‘I know I can manage at Conference Premier level and I know I will do that with Gosport Borough.
‘I don’t need to go to another club to meet my ambitions.
‘The grass isn’t always greener.
‘I run my own business and I can do both jobs. The two work together very well and I didn’t want to risk that by potentially going to a full-time club.’
Borough’s successful management team remains unaffected after assistant boss Mick Catlin also agreed to extend his stay with the club.
But Pike’s role will also incorporate two days per week with the club’s commercial operation as they try to improve their off-the-field activities to increase their revenues.
‘It’s important for us,’ said Pike.
‘I will also work two days per week on the commercial side with the chairman so we can really push the club on to the next level.
‘We realise we have got to be more professional off the field and devote more time to that.’
After securing his own future, Pike has not delayed his team-building plans for next season as he attempts to compete at the top of end of Skrill South next season.
Two key men from last season, midfielder Jamie Brown and defender Brett Poate, have both signed new two-year deals with the club.
And Pike has also swooped for his first signing of the summer, after recruiting central defender Ben Gerring from Hayes & Yeading. The towering centre-back came through the ranks at Plymouth Argyle and will certainly add aerial strength to the Borough defence.
Pike said: ‘He impressed me when I saw him play against Eastleigh.
‘He was immense and kept their strikers quiet.
‘He wins everything in the air and has got a bit of pace and good feet.
‘He is only 23 and fits the blueprint that we are starting to look for at Gosport.
‘I’m looking for younger, ex-professional players who are hungry to do well at this level and get to the next step.
‘I’m trying to sign players who can grow with the club and meet our ambitions going forward.’
Pike has also revealed he has made an approach for Hawks winger Christian Nanetti as he looks to increase the quality in his ranks.
He said: ‘I have spoken to Lee Bradbury and we have made an approach for him.
‘He has got pace and is a game-changer.
‘I can understand why Havant & Waterlooville might want to release him.
‘He catches the eye but they might argue that they didn’t get enough end product out of him and they might get frustrated with that.
‘But every manager thinks he can change a player and make him play the way we would want him to play.
‘He is a young player and it was only two or three months ago that Lee thought he could get back in the Football League.’