Wilkinson up for Borough challenge

Shaun wilkinson admitted struggling Gosport Borough have their work cut out to remain in National League South.

Friday, 20th January 2017, 6:10 pm
Former Hawks midfielder Shaun Wilkinson has been appointed Gosport Boroughs new assistant manager Picture: Dave Haines

But the Privett Park side’s new assistant manager is hoping to call in a few favours to help the club avoid relegation.

The 35-year-old was appointed number two to Borough boss Alex Pike yesterday.

He replaces Mick Catlin, who left the troubled outfit after more than nine years loyal service last week, in the club’s coaching structure.

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Wilkinson’s first priority will be to help Borough, who are on a six-game losing run, get something from today’s league game at Hampton & Richmond Borough.

That may prove difficult with Pike’s side winless in National South since a 2-1 win at Hemel Hempstead on October 31 and in deep relegation trouble as they sit 18th in the standings.

Their situation hasn’t been helped either by players leaving the club because of their troubles off the pitch.

The enormity of the task isn’t lost on the former Eastleigh assistant manager, though.

And Wilkinson is hopeful his long list of contacts within the game will help Borough in their battle to avoid the drop.

‘I know we have a tough job on our hands to keep the club up,’ said the former Hawks midfielder.

‘A number of the players have left and those still at the club are on the floor.

‘One of my first jobs is to try and help the manager pick them up.

‘Although I have been out of the game for over four years, I have kept contact with players and others still involved.

‘I still have a number of contacts to tap into and hopefully will be able to call in a few favours.

‘We need to get some more decent players in and start getting the results to climb the league.’

Wilkinson has been out of the game for more than four years, after leaving his role at Eastleigh in 2012, following the appointment of Richard Hill as boss.

However, the Borough new boy insisted he had the hunger and experience to help out his new side.

‘I am ready to get back involved again and feel National League South is my level,’ added Wilkinson.

‘Other job offers have come in over the last few years but I felt they weren’t for me.

‘The National League South is where I played nearly all my football and was involved in at Eastleigh.

‘Gosport are in the same situation we were in when I first went to Eastleigh so it isn’t new to me.

‘There is no contract involved it is just a case of keeping them up first and taking it from there.’

n The News continues to be banned by Gosport Borough for our accurate reporting on the club’s recent financial problems.

Wilkinson faces a tough start with Borough travelling to take on seventh placed Hampton & Richmond Borough.

He then has the benefit of two home games against East Thurrock United (Tuesday) and Maidenhead United (Saturday).