‘We’ve upset people in the past’ – Moneyfields boss Turnbull admits his US Portsmouth Vase heroes are there ‘to be shot down’ in new Wessex League season

Glenn Turnbull admits his Moneyfields squad must learn to live with a double dose of pressure in the forthcoming Wessex League Premier Division season.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 11:40 am
Rob Evans in action for Moneyfields during Tuesday's hastily-arranged friendly against Follands at Sherfield English. Picture Dan (JMA Media).
Rob Evans in action for Moneyfields during Tuesday's hastily-arranged friendly against Follands at Sherfield English. Picture Dan (JMA Media).

On the one hand, those who were part of the manager’s US Portsmouth success story - seeing their profile rise enormously as a result - could be targeted by opposition players keen to wind them up.

And on the other hand, Turnbull knows Moneyfields - having dropped back down to the Wessex after four seasons of step 4 football - are one of the bigger fish in the Premier Division pond.

‘The Vase success we had could be a hindrance,’ he confessed.

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‘The (ex USP) players are going to have to cope because some teams will know their history - they are there to be shot down.

‘And for all the times I’ve bigged up the squad’s camaraderie (at USP), I do know it’s upset people in the past.

‘As a club, Moneyfields are also a big target in our league.

‘When clubs like Pompey and Leeds (in the third tier) and when Glasgow Rangers were relegated they were seen as a big scalp - and that’s definitely going to be the case for Moneyfields.

‘It’s something else the players are going to have to live with.

‘Steve Hutchings’ name is going to be known everywhere … there’s a lot of personal skills the players will need to learn in order for the team to be successful next season.

‘It’s the same for myself on the sidelines. I’m going to have to modify my own behaviour because I’m representing a bigger club now.’

Moneys are experiencing a stop-start pre-season with Fleetlands and Paulsgrove calling off friendlies the day before they due to take place, and then Steyning pulling out of last Tuesday’s fixture on the day of the match.

As a result, Moneys have had to quickly organise friendlies with Hayling United, Meon Milton and Folland.

They only beat reigning Mid-Solent League champions Meon 2-1 and lost 4-2 to Wessex 1 outfit Folland at Sherfield English.

‘I wasn’t impressed with how we played against Meon,’ said Turnbull. ‘There were a few cross words after, which wasn’t ideal. I suppose it’s all part of the learning curve.

‘There’s all the work going on at the ground as well. The other day the stand was being cut out, which we didn’t expect to see.

‘I know that doesn’t affect the footballing side, but there’s upheaval all around.

‘We’d just like to get back to bit of normality - but there’s 75 million people in the UK who would say the same.’

Turnbull has signed ex-Horndean defender Josh Mound, a right-sided player who can also play centrally.

Former AFC Portchester striker Bradey Norton - who was playing in Australia last year - is also poised to sign. Norton worked with Moneyfields coach Paul Barton during his time in the Havant & Waterlooville Academy.

Moneys are playing three friendlies tomorrow - at East Preston, at Andover New Street and against Hampshire Premier Leaguers Harvest at Front Lawn.

That’s despite having a number of Covid cases, some others self-isolating, keeper Tom Price being rested and Olly Long (groin) and Danny Burroughs (ankle) injured.