SHOLING have received seven days’ notice of approach for right-back Terry (TJ) Cuthbertson – less than a week after sealing his move from Blackfield & Langley.
Southern Premier Division promotion hopefuls Poole Town had their eyes on Cuthbertson when his Blackfield future was thrown into doubt and have now transferred that interest to Sholing.
“We’d had notice of approach from Poole before I’d even given TJ his tracksuit!” laughed Boatmen’s boss Dave Diaper.
“To be fair to (Poole boss) Tom Killick, I think he’d already got his eye on TJ and he’s only doing his job. Poole have got a hell of a run-in and he obviously thinks his squad needs adding to. I understand that, we’ve all been in those positions.
“I never waive the seven days on principle, but TJ’s adamant he wants to stay with us. “Poole’s a long way to go for a home game. On a good run you can get from our ground to theirs in an hour, but you’ve got training and midweek games to take into account. A home game for TJ with Poole would be the equivalent of our furthest away game at Hamworthy.”
Diaper, meanwhile, has had a change of heart about tonight’s league trip to AFC Portchester.
This time last week, he was dismayed that the fixture had been slotted in so soon to Saturday’s big FA Vase last-32 tie at home to Hullbridge Sports.
But, given his side’s sluggish start to Saturday’s league match against Bemerton, when they fell behind to a Joe Sanger goal before coming back to win 2-1 through Ashley Jarvis and a Mike Carter wonder strike, he now welcomes an extra game.
“We hadn’t played for two weeks before Saturday and we were so bad in the opening 25 minutes that it’s clear we need games,” he said. “No matter how much training you do, there’s no substitute for playing matches on grass.
“I’m not a negative person and we’ll turn tonight into a positive. It gives us another run-out ahead of the Vase.”
Table-topping Sholing have an unbeaten league record to protect tonight and Diaper knows it won’t be easy against a Portchester side who, he believes, will be a future Wessex force.
“I’ve got a lot of time for Portchester, they’ve done wonders, and they’re going to be massive next year. Whether we’re still in the league or not, they will be the team to watch out for,” he said.
Goalkeeper Matt Brown returns tonight after missing Saturday’s game and midfielder Lewis Fennemore is ready to go again having got his back problems sorted. Centre-back Dan Miller also rejoins the squad after time out with a broken wrist.
“It’s all coming together and it’s looking good for the run-in,” said Diaper.