GE HAMBLE are about to lose wing wizard Rory Williams to Southern Premier Division outfit Gosport Borough.
After rejecting a move to Bognor Regis, Williams has opted to return to his home town club who are closing in on a play-off spot after an impressive 13-game unbeaten league run.
Williams has netted ten goals in 17 Wessex starts for Hamble this season, but only recently returned to action after a lengthy spell out with ruptured shoulder ligaments.
His departure leaves anoth er huge hole to fill at Follands Park, coming on top of target man Jamie Musselwhite’s November move to Sholing.
But co-boss Dave Lewis readily admits that the left- back turned left-winger is “way, way above” Sydenhams Premier standard and expects Gosport to be a stepping stone towards greater things.
He said: “(Gosport boss) Alex Pike called me last week to say he’d heard Bognor had come in for Rory – an offer Rory turned down.
“Alex said that if ever Rory was interested in leaving Hamble, he would like to reg ister an interest.
“There was no seven days’ notice of approach, but Alex was good enough to call and speak to me directly and I felt Rory deserved to know.
“Rory said he’d be interest ed in joining Gosport and, after agreeing details last weekend, he decided to go.”
Not only is Lewis confident Williams can make an impact at Southern League level, he is convinced he has the talent to progress into the Football League.
“He’s way, way above our level and once he settles in at Gosport, he’ll move up and out of that league too,” he pre dicted. “Handled correctly, Rory’s got every chance of becoming a pro.”
Williams previously played for Gosport and Andover, but it was only when Danny Bowers, Hamble’s former man ager, converted him to a left winger that the true extent of his talent shone through. “Rory used to be a left-back sometimes used in left-midfield, but since Danny converted him to a left winger he hasn’t looked back,” said Lewis. “There was never going to be a good time for him to leave Hamble, but Rory’s such a nice lad and, on a personal level, we’re all delighted he’s got himself a really good move. “Going to Gosport is too good an opportunity to turn down. I’m not talking money, I’m talking about Rory joining a good, structured football club.
“I used to play for Alex at Wimborne and for his assis tant Mick Catlin at Andover and I know they will look after him.”
As a gesture of goodwill, Gosport agreed Williams could play one more game for Hamble at home to Blackfield & Langley tomorrow. That game, however, has made way for Blackfield’s delayed FA Vase tie at Bemerton.