JAMIE Whisken has left troubled club AFC Totton to join their new Southern Premier rivals Poole Town.

With Totton struggling to settle their wage bill from last season, the Testwood Park club still owe in the region of £47,000 to manager Steve Riley and his playing staff.

Predictably, the Stags’ financial struggles have alerted the interest of rival managers to their squad and Poole boss Tom Killick sees 25-year-old centre-back Whisken as the perfect replacement for his skipper Michael Walker who is almost certainly joining Weymouth.

Whisken, best friend of Adam Lallana, grew up in Bournemouth and played in the same Littledown Juniors and Redhill Rangers Under-12s sides as the Saints star.

When he was 13, he signed for AFC Bournemouth just after Lallana had joined Saints, and he went on to play two minutes of first-team football for Cherries in a Carling Cup defeat at Wigan Athletic eight years ago.

After being released by Cherries, he played for Farnborough and Basingstoke Town before joining Totton in September 2010.

Whisken played a key role in the Stags’ rise to the Southern Premier Division and featured in the side that hosted Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup second round proper two seasons ago.

“Totton’s players have been very successful and I’m sure they all feel sad about what’s happened there and it will be a wrench for anyone who ends up leaving,” said Killick.

“It (the financial climate) is biting at most clubs and no one wants to see others in trouble, but you can’t afford to be sentimental about it.

“We’re sad to be losing Michael Walker, but I believe Jamie will be a very capable replacement.

“He’s been consistently playing at the level we’re going into and, as an added bonus, he’s a local lad. He lives and works in Bournemouth where he’s a personal trainer at Fitness First.

“He’s a big, strong lad with experience and ability.” Adam Kelly has left Poole to join his local club Tiverton Town.

The former Winchester City and Salisbury City midfielder was finding travelling increasingly tough.

“Adam served us really well last year, but it was always going to be difficult for him long-term and it makes sense for him to join a club closer to home,” said Killick.

Two key men, winger Carl Preston and defender Will Spetch, have signed new Poole contracts and Killick has been talking to defender Rhys Baggridge – a former Dolphins loanee – following his release from Salisbury City.