Stockbridge’s pre season preparations were given a serious set back as new signing Sam Pike sustained a broken leg at the Shrewton Tournament last week.
New manager Dean Hutchins said: “This is huge blow not only to me but to Sam too. I know he was really looking forward to the forthcoming season and I was looking forward to seeing him excel. ‘Sam is a player that I respect highly not just as a player but as a friend and I'm truly devastated.
Now he faces six to nine months out but I've told him that he is still part of the club and my team.
The club and I wish Sam a speedy recovery.”
Meanwhile signings have continued and the new squad are into their third week of training before the start of the Hampshire Premier League season. Hutchins added: “Jason Mussellwhite has been tremendous in his efforts to get the squad in good shape and he and I have some really tough choices in selecting a team and squad to start the campaign.”
Hutchins is delighted to have secured the services of former Tadley Calleva and Whitchurch United striker Ashley Childs who joins after a frustrating season last year, which saw him fall out of favour at Whitchurch.
However he is looking to re-kindle his form and start producing his best again. “Ashley is one of those players that as a manager you want in your side, he can turn a game in a second and watching him in training he looks like he's got that spark back” said Hutchins.
Also moving across from Whitchurch is Nick Chandler who Hutchins says ‘Is a very versatile player who is comfortable in a variety of positions. Nick has played under me before and I know exactly what I'm getting, a hard working and intelligent player”
Brad Craney has joined from Andover Lions and was a main target being an extremely strong central midfielder who possesses great attacking flair.
Former Winchester City and Alresford Town man Dean Smith has also signed forms this week. Dean has also had spells with Whitchurch United, Andover New Street, Andover FC and Andover Lions.
Hutchins added: “Despite only being 25, Dean will bring a great deal of experience and having always played at a very good level will always be a bonus' Predominantly a left sided player he is equally comfortable on the right.”