BLACKFIELD & Langley are confident of signing sought-after defender Richard Jackson from under the noses of Sydenhams Premier rivals Hamworthy United.

Bournemouth Poppies’ versatile left-sided defender has trained with his former club Hamworthy, prompting optimism from Hammers boss Graham Kemp that he could replace Shaun Brian, who is taking up a firefighter’s job with the RAF.

But Jackson has also done a couple of pre-season sessions with Blackfield whose assistant boss Chris Farrell is confident his past ties with the player will be instrumental in getting him to Gang Warily.

Farrell, himself a former Hamworthy and Bournemouth man said: “I was the person who got Jacko to Hamworthy and I was the one who got him to Poppies – and I’ve spent the last three years trying to get him to Blackfield.

“Jacko has played in the comfort zone for the last two or three years and there’s no doubt in my mind he can step up at least a level, probably two.

“He’s an accomplished left-back/left-sided centre-half and recently turned down a deal at Dorchester.” Farrell also believes Blackfield have a strong chance of keeping ex-Poppies hot-shot Martin Warren – despite interest from Hamworthy.

Warren bagged an impressive 15 goals in 22 Wessex appearances for a struggling Bournemouth side last season before switching camps to Blackfield. He then featured in 14 Wessex games for the Watersiders, netting six times.

Kemp says he is doing everything he can to secure both Jackson’s and Warren’s services, but Farrell said: “Martin’s been training with us and he’s been to Hamworthy once.”