SKIPPER Lewis Ferrell has pleaded with his Hampton & Richmond Borough team-mates to keep together what he believes is a very promising squad.
Ferrell fears relegation from Blue Square South could see the vultures swoop for Hampton's promising youngsters, following Dan Thompson, who was cherry-picked by Portsmouth, out of the Beveree exit door.
But former Brentford junior Ferrell believes if Hampton can hold onto their hot properties, it won't be long before the Beavers are back in the second tier of non-league football.
He said: “Can we bounce straight back? Put it this way, the most important thing is that we keep this squad together – then we have a great chance.
“Although we have been relegated, people have been giving us praise all season for the way we play, but now it's time to put some meat on those words and prove ourselves – otherwise they will be just that – words.
“I've never experienced relegation before, and it's not nice. It was a very quiet dressing room afterwards. People were already talking about next season, but it's a long way off.
“People are tired emotionally and physically. Personally, I need some rest now as I've been playing with a hamstring injury.”