‘We probably need eight or nine more players’ – Portchester boss Dave Carter on plans to challenge for next season’s Wessex League Premier Division title

Dave Carter insists there's 'still a lot to be done' as he looks to build AFC Portchester into a team fit to challenge for the Wessex League Premier Division title next term.

Sunday, 11th April 2021, 2:54 pm
Portchester boss Dave Carter (with cap) looks on during his side's friendly loss to US Portsmouth. Pic: Daniel Haswell.

The Royals welcomed US Portsmouth for a friendly yesterday and were well beaten 4-1 by Glenn Turnbull's side from a division lower of the non-league pyramid.

New recruit Sam Pearce got Portchester off to the perfect start, heading the home side ahead inside a minute.

But doubles from James Franklyn and Tyler Moret in either half provided USP with the ideal preparation ahead of their FA Vase fourth round tie with Christchurch next weekend.

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Action from AFC Portchester (orange) v US Portsmouth. Picture: Daniel Haswell.

For Carter, it was another chance to have a closer look at his squad as he took charge of just his second Royals fixture.

He has already brought seven players from former club Moneyfields with him to the Crest Finance Stadium.

But Carter is still envisaging a busy summer and says he could need up to another 'eight or nine' new faces to turn the Royals from a mid-table Wessex League Premier Division team when 2020/21 was curtailed into title challengers.

He said: 'Results don’t mean anything, it’s pre, pre-season.

AFC Portchester players during a period of silence held for The Duke of Edinburgh. Picture: Daniel Haswell.

‘They had a lot to play for ahead of their FA Vase game next week, we’re still finding our feet.

‘It’s just an insight in the players, really. Some are doing well and some not so well.

‘We’re looking to build a team now ready for next season, that’s our main priority.

‘We still need probably eight or nine more players ready for next season.

'I’ve inherited a different team. We want to challenge for the title and I’ve inherited a team that were ninth in the league so there’s still a lot of work to be done.'

Following friendlies against Paulsgrove and US Portsmouth, Portchester are now preparing for the supplementary Hampshire Senior Invitation Cup.

Placed in Group 1 along with Folland Sports, Petersfield, Hamble Club and USP, the Royals' first tie is at lower tier Folland on Saturday.

Carter is viewing it as a beneficial exercise for both his players and himself to ease back into playing again.

'We haven’t had any football for a long time, so it’s a chance - for the players and myself - to get over Covid and enjoy football again, and then we’ll start pre-season.

‘August is still four or five months away, that’s the main priority, we want to do as well as we can in the tournament but it’s only a friendly tournament.

‘The real stuff starts in August.'