Whitstable Town manager Nicky Southall is predicting a bright future for youngster Scott Heard who has been linked with Ebbsfleet United
Whitstable manager Nicky Southall.
Nicky Southall is predicting a bright future for Whitstable Town youngster Scott Heard.
The Ryman League, Division 1 South club are backing the boss’s judgement by awarding the midfielder a contract which will keep him at Belmont until the end of next season.
The news came days after FA Trophy conquerors Ebbsfleet United publicly revealed their interest in Heard – Town’s longest-serving player – a move that left Southall and chairman Gary Johnson unimpressed.
Boss Southall said: “It was disappointing the way it leaked out but no disrespect to Ebbsfleet, Scott has got bigger clubs looking at him.
“We have to look after our better players and you don’t want others to steal them. If they want them, they have to pay the going rate.”
Heard is the longest-serving player in Southall’s squad, having made 160 appearances scoring 11 goals, since making his debut in March, 2010.
Southall added: “Scott is a wide player like I used to be. He has improved, is a great asset to the club and believe he is better than this league.
“He has got to keep showing it, keep progressing nicely and clubs will take an interest in him because he is doing things right. He has still got a way to go and I would like to see him hit the back of the net more regularly but his energy levels are good."
Southall is looking to add two players to his squad in the new year, with the club facing a backlog of league games, after their Trophy run.
He said: “I will be speaking to the chairman to see if we can bring in a couple.
“We know we are missing firepower up front but the squad will be tested and rotated to keep people fresh. The pitches will be difficult.”
Town, who saw the New Year's Day visit of Sittingbourne postponed, travel to Chipstead on Saturday and host Hastings next Tuesday (7.45pm).
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