THE talent spotter who brokered England international Adam Lallana’s move from Cherries to Southampton has revealed his desire for a shock return to management with Verwood Town.
Former Cherries forward John Sainty, 68, was a regular in the Division Four title-winning side of 1971 and went on to serve a multitude of professional and non-league clubs in coaching and management roles.
After scoring 20 goals in 118 league appearances at Dean Court, Sainty enjoyed playing spells with Mansfield Town and Aldershot before assisting John Bond at Norwich City and Manchester City.
He took the top job at Chester City in 1982 and briefly took charge of non-league clubs Glossop and Mossley before returning to the professional ranks with Stockport County as assistant manager to Danny Bergara and Dave Jones, following the latter to Southampton in 1997.
After switching to the role of Academy director at Saints, he snapped up Lallana from Cherries’ Centre of Excellence for a fee of £10,000 at the age of 12 in September 2000.
Sainty, who now lives in Verwood, also acted as chief scout towards the end of his five-year stint at St Mary’s before coaching at Lymington & New Milton and a year-long spell as head coach at Bemerton Heath Harlequins in the Wessex League nine seasons ago.
The former England schoolboy international has carried out work for the Press Association for the past five years, providing match analysis from Conference clubs Salisbury City and Aldershot Town.
And while the ex-Tottenham Hotspur apprentice, who still works full-time as a medical records officer, enjoys his role, he admits to missing the cut and thrust of competitive football with the Potters vacancy alerting his interest.
Sainty told the Daily Echo: “I live in Verwood but with various things, I don’t get to see as much football as I would like at that level.
“My weekend work keeps me involved to an extent but you get fed up after a while and if an opportunity comes along you always want to go for it.
“At my age, it’s not the kind of thing I’ll be looking to do in five years time so it would be nice to have a chat and see whether it might work for me and for Verwood.
"I have a wealth of experience to offer but we will have to see if that is what they’re after.”