Haverhill Rovers have not given up hope on signing Haverhill Borough’s captain and record appearance holder, Ross Elkins.
The midfielder, who has stacked up 103 appearances for Borough, turned down the chance to join Rovers after they put in a seven day approach for him last Wednesday (4).
Although Elkins is remaining at Borough, Rovers player-manager Michael Shinn said all hope is not lost that the switch may one day happen.
He said: “I’ve not given up hope on signing him.
“He is a winner. He will sit in front of the back four and protect them. He doesn’t give the ball away and gets himself into good positions. He is just a good all round footballer.
“We are building now for next season and he is someone we would be keen to get on board.”
Shinn’s counterpart at Borough, player-manager Martin Westcott, was equally effusive about Elkins’ attributes as a player.
He said: “He is our captain. Not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well.
“He leads by example. He is a player a lot of the team look up to. He is one of those players that you really do notice when he is not there. He does have a great influence on the way we play.
“We are looking to take the team forward and it’s really important for us to keep players like Ross here.”
So far this season Rovers have signed centre-back Martyn Farrant from Borough and although they have been unsuccessful in bids for both Elkins and Borough’s top scorer, Ryan Weaver, Shinn believes the two clubs can work together to their mutual benefit.
He said: “From my point of view we would like to have a better relationship with Borough so the teams can work together and help each other out.
“All in all everyone could be successful if everyone works together.”
Rovers face a stiff challenge on Saturday when they face Felixstowe & Walton United at The New Croft (3pm).
The Suffolk coastal side are currently in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division’s top six, with Rovers 13 points and nine places further down the table.
Rovers drew 2-2 at Felixstowe on October 25, having led the game 2-0 entering the final ten minutes - during which Shinn was red carded, a decision he later won on appeal.
On Saturday, Rovers will be without goalkeeper Jack Cherry and captain Sam Holmes (both away on Valentine weekends) and midfielder James Murray may be tied up with work commitments.
Aaron Millar has been called in from Rovers’ Under-18s and will make his first team debut in goal.
The match is the kind that tends to bring the best out of his team, believes Shinn.
“It’s a difficult game. Away at their place we should have won. We did very well that day and sometimes wwe are at our best when we have got a few players out.
“They certainly role their sleeves up when they are up against it.
“It should certainly be a good game.”
Haverhill Borough face the Thurlow Nunn League First Division’s basement team Woodbridge Town away on Saturday (3pm).
Striker Jake Twinn is still some two weeks away from being fully fit after a knee problem and attacking midfielder Luke Latham is close to a return after a groin injury.
Those two aside, Westcott has a strong squad at his disposal.