‘We still want Elliott’

Elliott Charles celebrates with the fans at Priory Lane
Elliott Charles celebrates with the fans at Priory Lane

It seems to be that time of year again when negotiations to keep your star players begin to get complicated.

Tottenham have Gareth Bale, Liverpool have the ever-lovable Luis Suarez and Eastbourne Borough have Elliott Charles.

The 23-year-old striker has left his Borough boss Tommy Widdrington and the Priory Lane fans anxiously awaiting a decision on his future.

Blue Square South rivals Dover Athletic are keen to sign the athletic 6ft 3” centre forward, while Borough have had their ‘decent offer’ on the table since the end of last season.

Widdrington admitted this week that it’s now crunch time and a decision was expected to be made on Thursday night (yesterday) after Borough’s pre-season friendly against Eastbourne Town at the Saffrons.

“It will be resolved by the end of this week because if he (Elliott) doesn’t make the decision then I will,” said Widdrington.

“I have heard a few things said that Elliott has not been loyal but I don’t quite buy into that.

“I played the game not so long ago and I know what it’s like. He is caught between a rock and a hard place at the moment. He is entitled to talk with other clubs but I hope he makes the decision for footballing reasons.

“If he does then I firmly believe that Eastbourne Borough is the best place for him.

“I would have no problem having him here again next season.”

Elliott attended pre-season training with Dover and played for them in a friendly against Whitstable but since then talks are believed to have hit a snag.

It was understood Elliott was offered a deal but that was subsequently reduced before he signed for the Whites.

Their manager Chris Kinear also has the luxury of a few other strikers at the club, such as Nathan Elder, who could easily be considered above Elliott in the pecking order.

Another significant factor is Borough still hold the registration for Elliott - meaning Dover would face paying a fee that would likely be set by tribunal.

Widdrington added, “Elliott has all the attributes that will attract attention from this level and perhaps a level higher. He had a good spell for us last season and we played to his strengths. He went from a player with potential to a player that scored regularly.

“I understand why other clubs are interested.

“But from our point of view, we have conducted ourselves properly throughout this.

“The thing that disappoints me, and how can I put this? Dover could have perhaps been more professional in the way they have handled this matter.”

Away from the Elliott saga, Borough’s pre-season has looked impressive.

A core of young local talent has been joined by the experienced Ian Simpemba who has slotted in extremely well at centre back.

Last weekend Widdrington’s men beat Worthing 3-1 with Chris Shephard, Darren Lok and triallist Tony Garrod notching the goals.

Borough’s final pre-season match is in Margate on Tuesday night.