Jan 20 2011 By Jon Batham
BARRING the arrival of non-league’s answer to Roman Abramovich, the cherry-picking of Wealdstone’s best players by bigger clubs is an occupational hazard.
That was the drift of Wealdstone boss Gordon Bartlett’s comments this week amid the media speculation concerning Alex Dyer’s alleged departure to Conference side Kettering Town.
Bartlett confirmed the former Northampton Town midfielder remained a Stones player for now but that he had gone up to Rockingham Road for a second training stint. He also confirmed Dyer’s team-mate, Ben Gill, was currently training with Division Two Lincoln City.
Coming on top of Kieron Forbes’ recent departure to Forest Green, the news will hardly be music to the ears of Stones supporters, particularly at a time when the Grosvenor Vale side is some way short of their pre-season play-off aspirations.
However, for Bartlett such events just come with the territory - and he even sees a flip side.
He said: "We’ve got a good young side attracting scouts and that’s par for the course.
"From a team point of view that’s not good, but it’s a reputation we’ve built for ourselves - we don’t pay a lot of money, but we put players in the shop window.
"We need a sugar daddy so we can get these players on contract and tie them to the club, but we haven’t got that so we get on with it.
"From a selfish point of view I hope nothing materialises for Alex and Ben, but if you look at it another way, if we are a club that is seen as bringing players on then there will always be others who want to join us."
Talking of people joining, the arrival of Kieran Knight on dual registration from Maidenhead this week, has not satisfied Bartlett’s thirst for new talent at the Vale as he feels there is still some tinkering to be done. And with Chris O’Leary, Kurtney Brooks, Scott Fitzgerald and Darren Locke all on the injured list, he could use some extra bodies.
He added: "Kieran is the first to arrive and I’m talking to one or two clubs about a couple more coming in as the balance isn’t quite right since Forbsey (Kieran Forbes) left.
"We had four players coming to training on Tuesday but that’s not unusual. With the lads we’ve got there are opportunities at our place at the moment."