By Connor Steel
GOSPORT BOROUGH FC have joined forces with Petersfield Town FC by creating a new initiative between the two sides aimed at strengthening local player development and recruitment, just one month after Shaun Gale’s team were victorious in the Portsmouth Senior Cup Semi Final at Privett Park.
Boards of both Hampshire clubs have established a protocol that meets the strengths and demands of lower step non-league football, creating a partnership that boosts coaching, training skills and facilities whilst protecting the integrity of competition and independence for both clubs involved.
With this new deal in mind, Gosport players Joe Lea and Pat Suraci will take on the football coaching and management duties of Petersfield Town FC from May 1 this year; with Petersfield’s Mark Summerhill stepping up from his first team duties at the club to adopt an overall football role.
Fresh from a successful season of silverware at various youth levels Lea and Suraci will combine their ongoing commitments and coaching responsibilities with Gosport Borough’s School of Excellence and Academy programme, with their new coaching and management responsibilities with Petersfield Town FC.
Following this exciting social media announcement published earlier today (Thursday, April 14) the chairmen of both sides have offered their own thoughts on the new initiative, seemingly sharing a common enthusiasm and commitment despite there being three divisions between them both in the football non-league pyramid.
Gosport Borough chairman Iain Mcinnes said in a short statement: “Football’s future at the lower step level will rely increasingly on partnerships in order to survive and where an initiative that combines ambition, development and integrity offers a desirable hybrid to both clubs we should support it unreservedly”.
Petersfield Town chairman also shared the positive reaction to the news as he added his own statement on their club website, saying: “This is a great opportunity for both clubs. Football at the lower levels is in danger of being lost. The opportunity to have the chance to have top quality coaches to help develop our young squad would be difficult to turn down. As mentioned in the above statement, both clubs will keep their identity in their respective leagues and continue to be run independently”.
PICTURED BY PETERSFIELD TOWN FC: Mike Summerhill stands between the new managers of the club from May 2022 under new club links with Gosport Borough announced today (Thursday, April, 14).