Green is Totton bound

By Wendy Gee -

Eastleigh's Michael Green was last night set to swap places with Mike Gosney by joining AFC Totton on a month's loan.

The 20-year-old left-sided player, who joined the Spitfires from Sydenhams League outfit Christchurch during the summer, is behind Brett Poate, Trevor Challis and Ian Oliver in the Eastleigh pecking order and has started the season in the reserves.

Eastleigh added to their left-wing armoury last Friday by signing Gosney on loan for a month to cover in the absence of the suspended Tony Taggart and stomach bug victim Shaun McAuley.

Totton, in turn, are short on cover on that side of the field, so the clubs have agreed for Green to spend a month at Testwood Park to get some Southern League experience under his belt.

Eastleigh’s director of football David Malone clarified: “Michael is someone we hold in high regard and we wouldn’t let him go lightly on a longer term basis. He’s going to Totton because he needs experience and games.”

Totton, away to Hungerford Town in the Southern 1 South & West tonight (7.30), have had a low-key start to the season, collecting just four out of nine points and scoring only one goal.

Already, though, injuries are stacking up for Stuart Ritchie’s men, particularly in the cen ral defensive department where summer signing Chris Collins is still getting over ankle problems and Jamie Whisken (ankle), Ross Bottomley (ankle) and Ian Richardson (broken nose) are all carrying knocks.

“We’re looking at Michael Green to give us cover in any one of four positions – left-back, centre-back, left midfield or even central midfield,” explained Totton’s director of football Mick Budny.

“With David Hughes retiring, we only have three experienced central midfielders at the club. “Michael was identified by Eastleigh as one of the best young players in the area and has impressed so far, but their manager Ian Baird has opted to go for experience at the moment as they battle to get out of the Conference South.

“He’s a tall, fit, athletic guy and should fit in well here. His versatility gives us options and his height will help as well.”

Gosney’s switch to Eastleigh is a curious one.

Having told Totton he was unavailable this season due to work commitments, he made his Spitfires debut as a substitute in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Thurrock.

Budny explained: “Mike had told us on different occasions that he was unavailable to attend training and match days and he wanted to give this season a miss.

“The club have been good to Mike over the years and he is still on contract with us for two more seasons.

“However, the lure of Conference South football and a change for change’s sake may be the incentive Mike needs.

“Make no mistake about it, we were keen for Mike to do his stuff for us this season and will monitor the situation closely.

“In the meantime, we have three wingers and we are happy to help Ian and Dave at Eastleigh.

“In return we are getting a quality player in Michael Green to cover positions where we are short due to lack of numbers or injuries.”

Malone, a long-time admirer of Gosney’s, said: “This is a good opportunity for him to show what he can do at a higher level."

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