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Non-league: Arnold offers an olive branch to rival boss Cuffie
The pair were at loggerheads over their respective teams’ styles of play after the Wessex Premier rivals had battled out a 1-1 draw at Potterne Park in August.
Cuffie felt the Potters had adopted a route-one approach, while Arnold countered by describing Priory as the “poorest Christchurch team” he had seen for a number of years.
Previewing the derby show-down, Arnold, who turned down the chance to manage Christchurch before Cuffie was appointed in the summer, told the Daily Echo: “It was a difficult job to take on from Graham Kemp because he had been so successful.
“I think Michael has made a decent fist of it. Neither club pay any money and we both suffer as a result of that. He has had the experience of Mark Smith and Max Frampton in his side and you need those type of players in this league.
“I am finding it very difficult to take our club forward and am envious of Christchurch’s facilities. Although I wasn’t impressed with his comments, I will be the first to shake his hand ahead of what is an important game for both clubs.
“One of my targets this season was to finish above Hamworthy, Poppies and Christchurch and, if we were to win, we would go above them. But we could still both get sucked into the bottom two if we were to go on a poor run.”
Cuffie, who was unavailable for comment, was last night trying to sign a goalkeeper following the departure of Max Frampton to Bemerton, while midfield playmaker Mark Smith sits out due to suspension.
Arnold welcomes back strikers Jack Lovell and Nathan Saxby, while Brad Hill is also available as is new player-coach Lee Chudy.
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