DAVE Tarpey has backed Hampton & Richmond Borough to bounce back to Blue Square South after leaving the Beavers for Farnborough.
The talented striker turned down a new deal at Beveree, and the club are currently mulling over an offer tabled by the Hampshire side.
Hampton are entitled to compensation as Tarpey is under the age of 24, and if Farnborough's offer is rejected, the fee will go to an FA tribunal.
Tarpey said: “I think Hampton can definitely come straight back up if they can hold on to most of their other players, and most of the ones I have spoken to have said they are strongly considering staying.
“We had a bit of a mixed season, having started so badly, but it was a real kick in the teeth to get relegated after having initially got ourselves out of it.
“It was not an easy decision to leave as I have had some great times at Hampton. I probably would have stayed if we had stayed up, but at the age of 23, I didn't want to drop down.”
Having signed from Basingstoke two years ago, Tarpey initially struggled to get into the side and was farmed out on loan, but was recalled after scoring a hat-full of goals for the likes of Chertsey Town and Walton & Hersham.
He said: “I didn't expect to come in and be first choice, but I was played as a winger under Alan Devonshire, and started there under Mark Harper too, but I always saw myself as a striker, and when Harps tried me there it worked out.”
Tarpey turned down approaches from other Blue Square South clubs too, as well as an offer to train with Blue Square National side Woking.
And he believes it is a former Woking, his good friend Charlie Moone, who could be key to helping get Hampton back up.
He added: “Although I believe Charlie can play in Blue Square South, I think he will stay. He could be the main man up front for Hampton next season. He had a bit of a mixed season, but he's a good goal-scorer.”