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The excitement is building - Merry Signings Reveal Day Eve everybody!

The excitement is building - Merry Signings Reveal Day Eve everybody!

Graeme Moir31 May - 15:48
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It’s one of the most exciting times of the football season - Christmas Eve excitement levels for fans and followers of non-league clubs.

June 1 is the date when clubs can start registering players officially for the 2024-25 season in the Velocity Wessex League.

More importantly as far as supporters are concerned, it is the date when the football team they follow at this level of non-league football can start revealing the players who will be returning for the next campaign and who the new signings will be.

The date is May 31 but in the football calendar you may as well change that to December 24 to better represent how some will be feeling on Signings Reveal Day Eve - the presents are waiting under the tree and only one more sleep to go before we can rip the wrapping paper off them and start to find out who those players are.

Get ready for clubs to flood their social media accounts excitedly with signings news - and that will be the case at AFC Portchester too.

There have been plenty of dramatic signing reveals at The OnSite Group Stadium in recent seasons - none more so than the arrival of Brett Pitman in the summer of 2022.

What will this year bring, Royals fans? Well, I can’t tell you what your presents are before the big day now can I?

There are plenty of clues though that could suggest areas where manager Gav Spurway will be focussing his attention during the close season in terms of player recruitment.

Let’s focus on what we do know. Following the Hampshire Senior Cup triumph on May 10, keeper Steven Mowthorpe, defender Ryan Woodford and midfielder Liam Robinson all announced they were hanging up their boots following the completion of the 2023-24 campaign.

So one key area on Spurway’s recruitment list will be a new goalkeeper following Mowthorpe’s departure after he completed 140 appearances for the club.

The experienced Woodford made 56 appearances for Portchester over the last two seasons but now he has left, a new defensive recruit or two could be on the cards.

Robinson racked up 73 appearances for the Royals and scored 14 goals, so his departure may also lead to some new faces in the attacking areas of the pitch.

Supporters can expect to see the majority of last season’s squad returning. It’s been a few years now since large numbers of players coming and going throughout the summer months was the norm at AFC Portchester.

A settled and stable squad is reflected in the appearances data for players - with a large percentage of last season’s players close to or already over the century mark in terms of games played for the Royals.

And the old saying goes ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ - something that can readily be applied to a group of players who last season reached the play-offs and two cup finals.

It wouldn’t be unreasonable to speculate at this stage that the bulk of last season’s squad will still be playing in the orange shirt next season, with some additional signings which it will be hoped will prove to be the extra difference necessary on the promotion and cup fronts in 24-25.

So as Shaw Taylor used to say on Police 5 (one for the mature readers among you here) ‘keep ‘em peeled’ in the coming days and weeks for news of new signings and players staying at AFC Portchester.

No doubt news of any departures will leak out from the clubs who have signed our former players - and we will keep you up to date on where any members of last season’s squad move to as well.

But other news to look out for will be the coaching team newly appointed manager Spurway will put in place for the year ahead.

So plenty going on and plenty to look forward to - and just like any good Christmas, be prepared for some shocks and surprises along the way too.

Merry Signings Reveal Day Eve everyone!

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