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Sought-after Cornick at centre of tapping-up storm
WONDERKID Harry Cornick is at the centre of bitter tapping-up row between non-league neighbours Christchurch and Poole Town .
The 17-year-old Priory winger has attracted attention from a host of Premier League and Football League clubs since bursting on to the scene this season.
Priory have lodged a complaint with the Football Association after claiming Poole had illegally spoken to Cornick, an accusation the Dolphins have fiercely refuted. And the disagreement has spilled over into an angry war of words.
Kemp told the Daily Echo: “I have never held a player to a seven-day approach and wasn’t holding Tom to the seven days. Tom phoned me on the Thursday before our FA Cup tie with Alresford on the Friday and all I stipulated was for him to wait until after the game. Three hours later, I had a call from Harry who said Tom had spoken to him.
“I called Tom to ask why but we got cut off. He sent me a text saying he would get back to me but he didn’t have the decency to ring me back. We were doing Poole a favour and feel, as a club, they have ridden roughshod over us and lacked a bit of respect.
“We are not naïve, we know it (tapping up) goes on but he should have had the decency to respect what we had asked.”
Poole boss Killick, however, claims he was given the green light to speak to Cornick and has hit back at Kemp’s accusations.
Killick said: “Christchurch have seen fit to refer it to the FA and we have had to make a formal response. We are confident there is no wrongdoing whatsoever.
“Sometimes, people get frustrated about the position they find themselves in and react in an inappropriate fashion. I am disappointed it has happened but have got bigger things to worry about.
“Until this point, I had always had a good relationship with Kempy and thought if he felt there had been something inappropriate then he would have addressed it with me.
“I understand managers get frustrated when they think they are going to lose players and perhaps try to be obstructive. I have probably done it myself in the past. You know it is not right but, sometimes, you get a bit carried away with your personal agenda and forget the interests of the player’s progression.
“I think it is important that Harry isn’t put under significant pressure by any party and that his options are fully explained. I think it is wrong to put someone of that age under pressure in the manner that, perhaps, is happening.”
Cornick bagged a hat-trick last night as Christchurch beat Wimborne 5-3 in the FA Youth Cup. Southampton were understood to have sent a representative to watch him at Hurn Bridge.