SYDENHAMS Wessex new boys Sholing have made doubly sure that they shouldn’t be short of goals next season.
The Portsmouth Road club, who have voluntarily dropped down from the Southern League after finishing seventh in Division One South & West last term, have signed Follands Sports (former GE Hamble) hot shot Ashley Jarvis and appointed vastly experienced ex-England non-League inter national James Taylor as player-coach.
And with prolific, young marksman Lee Wort having having agreed a one-year deal and Barry Mason adding to their strike options, the Boatmen should have a front line force to be reckoned with in the Sydenhams Premier Division.
Manager Dave Diaper said: “Ashley Jarvis is a quality player who was always on the radar. I tried to sign him last sum mer and, a year on, I’m well pleased to get him.
“When we played against Hamble in a friendly last year, Ash was much stronger physically than I’d thought. He’s a hard player to knock off the ball and one of his best attributes is his finishing.”
Having made his name as one of the most feared targetmen in local non-League foot ball with the likes of Bashley, Havant & Waterlooville and AFC Totton, Taylor took up his first managerial post last season as caretaker boss of Winchester City who, like Sholing, have dropped down from the Southern League.
It was a tough challenge to say the least with a young, experienced Winchester team and no money available but, to his credit, Taylor stuck with it to the bitter end, even assisting the new regime who had already lined up Graham Kemp to replace him.
Taylor, 38, was offered the assistant manager’s role by Winchester but his mind was set on coaching/playing and, liv ing in Woolston, Sholing suits him down to the ground.
“I live locally and I already run Sholing’s under-12 team, so it all fits in nicely,” said Taylor. “Of course I want to be in the highest league possible, but Sholing are taking a step back to go forward. “They’re doing up their ground, improving the facilities and, hopefully, there’s an artifi cial pitch on the way.
“I’ve always got on well with Dave (Diaper) and enjoy talking to him.
“As far as I know, he’s not losing any play ers he wanted to keep, which says a lot about the club.
“I’m getting on a bit now and I’m not sole ly here to play, but if Dave needs me I’m more than capable.”
Welcoming Taylor to the club, Diaper said: “Mick Marsh is still coach, but James will bring a new voice to the coaching side. Mick Marsh, Kev Harnett, Mick Brown and myself have been coaching for a number of years now and it’s important to freshen things up.
“I’ve known James a long time and he’s always been a real thorn in our side. He’s a great Plan B to have on the playing side. “With James, Worty, Barry and Ashley, we’ve got great cover up front for what will be a long, tough season.”
Diaper has also re-signed midfielders/widemen Nick Watts and Danny Cox and will bring young guns Ryan Lambert, Mitch Fear, Alex Sawyer and Dan Miller into the first-team squad.
Striker Daniel Mason – younger brother of Barry and midfielder Byron – has moved to Follands Sports “to carry on his learning procedure.”