Promotion sparks scramble for Deans duo

Horndean boss Dave Carter
Horndean boss Dave Carter
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HORNDEAN face a battle to keep hold of their management team after booking their return to the premier division of the Wessex League.

Courtesy of Petersfield’s victory over Pewsey Vale on Tuesday night, the Deans sealed promotion alongside Downton.

With one hand on the Portsmouth Senior Cup, too, it’s been a stunning season at Five Heads Park.

Boss Dave Carter and his assistant Mark Poulton have understandably won plenty of admirers.

And as the season draws to a close, there have been job offers, too.

Poulton claims two clubs have approached him over taking the reins at their respective sides.

One is a ‘top’ Wessex League club – which he has turned down.

And the other a ‘very successful’ Sussex League division one side.

Poulton is expected to hold talks with the latter about a prospective move once Horndean’s season has finished.

The ex-Humbugs boss did, however, claim if further funds were made available to attract players of a higher calibre to Five Heads Park, then he’d consider staying.

‘I don’t like saying it but football is all about money and it will prove to be a major contributing factor to my future,’ said Poulton.

‘If funds are made available to attract bigger and better players, then I’d certainly consider it.’

Poulton also reiterated how difficult it would be to leave the club, due to his relationship with the board and his players.

Carter’s second in command hailed the efforts of the Deans players, who deserve the plaudits for the club’s success.

But he warned he would come calling for their services if he were to move on.

‘I’ve got a great side with quality players,’ said the former Chichester City boss.

‘I have a great relationship with a lot of the lads and believe, if I was to leave, they would follow me.’

Carter, however, insists he is fully focused on the task he faces at Five Heads Park – including a Portsmouth Senior Cup final with Moneyfields – despite also being offered a job.

‘Promotion was our aim from the start and we’re there,’ he said.

‘We’re in a good position in the league but we must remain focused – the job isn’t completed yet.

‘Moneys are a good side but we tend to raise our game against the bigger teams.’

Carter remained tight-lipped on the club which had approached him but stated he is going nowhere.

The Deans boss, who welcomed Poulton on board after he was sacked by Chichester City, is already beginning to make plans for Horndean’s premier division adventure.

‘Sides like Moneys and Fareham are some of the best in Portsmouth and have the pick of the players,’ he said.

‘My aim for next season is to be the top side in the area.

‘Of course we would like to go up in our first season but realistically we must consolidate.’