MANAGER Carl Poore is urging his lower league rookies to make the most of Verwood Town’s summer exodus with star striker Jack Lovell set to join Christchurch.

Poore admitted defeat in his quest to retain last season’s leading marksman, despite the 11-goal youngster appearing in Potters’ past two pre-season matches against Hamworthy Recreation and Wimborne Town.

Should Lovell complete the switch, he would become the fourth Verwood player to follow Adie Arnold to Hurn Bridge, following in the footsteps of midfielders Nathan Saxby, Brad Hill and Ross Hampton-Brown.

But with a host of new faces stepping up from lower levels, the former Cranborne boss is confident his new-look outfit will be competitive in the Wessex Premier Division this season.

Striker Jordan Fisk, who notched 23 goals for Sturminster Marshall in the Dorset Senior League last season, has been snapped up alongside frontrunner Carl Foster who returns from Lymington Town.

Poole Town full-back Josh Buck is set to dual register at Potterne Park, while highly-rated centre-half Grant Cormack comes in from Merley Cobham Sports with Poore encouraged by the early signs during pre-season.

Poore said: “I expect Jack (Lovell) to join Christchurch and we wish him all the best. My focus is now on bringing in someone of a similar calibre because his goals will take some replacing.

“We wanted to retain as much of last season’s squad as possible but we could only try to persuade people so many times and we were pleased to keep the majority.

“That was an important part of building a team ethic because I didn’t want to kick off with a load of individuals. There is a real opportunity for these new lads to step up and shine and the initial signs are very encouraging.”