POOLE Town yesterday completed an eve-of-season double swoop for highly-rated Portsmouth pair Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jez Bedford.

The attacking midfielders both signed youth loans for an initial month and will go straight into the Dolphins squad for today’s National South opener at Weston-super-Mare.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, 19, brother of England and Arsenal star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and 18-year-old Poole-born Bedford will remain with the club until September 3, during which time they have eight league games.

Poole boss Tom Killick moved swiftly to bolster his attacking options after striker Luke Roberts had sustained a knee injury in their pre-season friendly at Weymouth seven days ago.

Roberts is being treated by Cherries physio Steve Hard and is due to have a scan to ascertain the full extent of the damage but looks set for a spell on the sidelines.

Poole chairman Chris Reeves told the Daily Echo: “Jez is a player we have had our eye on for a little while and, when we knew Christian was also potentially available, it was too good an opportunity to turn down.

“One of the things we are conscious about is not blocking the progress to the first team of some of our very talented young players.

“But the loss of Luke Roberts is a big blow and we felt we needed to strengthen the squad because of that.

“This in no way cuts across our plans to blood our own youngsters but the start of the season is so critical as there are so many games and Tom felt he needed to bolster the squad in Luke’s absence.”

Reeves was keen to extend Poole’s thanks to Portsmouth lead professional development phase coach Mikey Harris and club secretary Anabel Roman for their assistance with the deals.