How Eastleigh outbid Portsmouth for Jamal Lowe - but Fratton Park became his destination
Pompey were outbid by Eastleigh in the battle to recruit in-demand Jamal Lowe in October 2016.
Yet Hampton & Richmond’s desire to aid the winger’s development ensured Fratton Park became his destination.
Beevers president Graham Wood has lifted the lid on how the Blues managed to secure Lowe, who earlier this month was sold in excess of £2.5m.
As a result of that Wigan switch, the non-league outfit are entitled to receive a sell-on.
It was then-Pompey boss Paul Cook who recruited Lowe from Hampton & Richmond for an undisclosed fee, although he didn’t arrive on the south coast until January 2017.
According to Wood, however, Eastleigh had actually tabled a higher offer for the forward.
He said: ‘We signed Jamal from Hemel Hempstead and recognised very early on that he would progress to higher things.
‘It was apparent that he was a cut above the rest and we weren't surprised when other clubs started to take an interest in him.
‘For us, it is no surprise that he has gone on and made a big-money move.
‘Portsmouth and Eastleigh wanted him, but the manager at the time, Alan Dowson, thought Portsmouth would be the better option.
‘I think the chairman at the time would have preferred Eastleigh because they were offering more money.
‘We made sure we had a sell-on clause and are waiting to hear how much we will benefit from his move to Wigan.
‘The actual fee hasn't been confirmed yet, but we understand it to be in excess of £2m.
‘The money we’ll receive will keep us going for the next few seasons.’
Lowe would make 119 appearances for Pompey, scoring 29 times.
And Wood is convinced the pool continues to be well stocked with non-league talent capable of making the step up.
He added: ‘Jamal was a determined character and prepared to work hard to try to fulfil his dream.
‘His play in the Checkatrade Trophy final last season against my club Sunderland epitomised his quality and style.
‘It shows just how much talent there is at our level.
‘There are certainly some good players that can progress into the Football League from our level.
‘Let's hope we can discover a few more.’