How QPR, Watford, Bournemouth and AFC Wimbledon have boosted Borough's campaign
Need a loan, guv? The guv’nor at Eastbourne Borough is an expert – and he says it is a key to non-league success.
Manager Danny Bloor has hit the target every time this season, in bringing in loan players from full-time clubs from League One to the Premiership, and his loan youngsters are making a huge impact at Priory Lane.
Currently making their mark are AFC Wimbledon full-back Jack Currie, QPR centre-back Trent Mahorn, Dom Hutchinson from Premiership Watford FC, and AFC Bournemouth midfielder Luke Nippard.
“We are fortunate to enjoy really strong relationships with all of these clubs,” commented Bloor this week, as he secured an extension of Mahorn’s loan for the rest of the season. “And we hugely appreciate their help.
“It’s about knowing each other’s needs. We use the loan system but we never exploit it. Loan players must never be just sticking-plaster for the non-league club. They must be treated properly, and helped to develop. A young professional can learn at least as much in the testing-ground of a National South game as he would in a parent club’s Under-23s.”
Currie has turned in assured and consistent performances at left-back, while Hutchinson has proved lethal up front, either as an impact player or in a starting shirt. Mahorn, in the prolonged absence of Mitch Dickenson through injury, has seized his opportunity with vigour and confidence. And Luke Nippard’s arrival from AFC Bournemouth adds a welcome extra midfield option.
Bloor's long-standing relationship with Queens Park Rangers also earned the loans for all of last season of impressive young full-back Kai Innocent and of Eastbourne-based striker Charley Kendall – who is now on contract at Priory Lane and scoring goals for fun.
Only young goalkeeper Curtis Anderson, signed at the start of the season from Wycombe Wanderers, proved not quite ready for the National South battle front, and returned to his parent club. But the goalkeeping position does make special demands, and – as current Borough keeper Lee Worgan testifies – the guys with the gloves do mature with age and experience!
Worgan shared man-of-the-match accolades with Kendall last weekend, as Bloor’s men returned to action, after an enforced three-week break, with an impressive 2-0 victory at Oxford City – Kendall notching both goals. Tomorrow (Saturday) the Sports welcome mid-table Hungerford Town to Priory Lane, with the manager warning against over-confidence.
“Hungerford are a small-scale club in many people’s eyes, but they can compete with anyone in our division. In Ryan Seager they have one of the most prolific goalscorers in the league, and their manager Danny Robinson has done an exceptional job.”
For the Sports, playmaker Chris Whelpdale and centre-back Mitch Dickenson are unlikely to feature, but Jake Elliott is fit again and in contention for a starting place. The game kicks off at 3.00pm, following a minute’s applause for long-standing club servant Stan Eavis, and players will wear black armbands.