TWO former Saints players have emerged as contenders in the race to succeed Graham Kemp at Wessex League Christchurch.

Priory are searching for a new manager after Kemp announced his resignation on Tuesday, writes IAN WADLEY.

Chairman Mark Duffy reported on Tuesday that the club had yet to approach – or be contacted by – any potential candidates.

But the Daily Echo’s sister paper, the Bournemouth Echo, say sources suggest some well-known figures in the local footballing world could soon enter the running.

Among those, ex-Dean Court star Kevin Dawtry is believed to be a contender, with Dave Puckett another possibility.

Currently in charge of Priory’s Wessex League rivals Totton & Eling, Dawtry began his career with Saints before going on to help Cherries secure promotion in 1981-82. In 65 league appearances for Cherries, the midfielder netted 11 goals.

Fellow former Cherries and Saints star Puckett could also come into the frame as his son, Billy, plays for Christchurch.

A star of Harry Redknapp’s title-winning team in 1986-87, Puckett also has plenty of experience on the local non-league circuit.

Indeed, the striker carved his name into the Wessex League record books when he became the oldest goalscorer in competition history by netting for Lymington Town at the age of 51.

Full story and more non-league football in today's Daily Echo