7:00am Tuesday 20th March 2012
By Wendy Gee
STRIKER Jamie Slabber is on the move from Eastleigh after all.
Having had an initial bid for the Spitfires’ joint leading scorer rejected, Blue Square Bet South rivals Chelmsford City doubled their offer over the weekend.
Slabber has agreed personal terms with the fifth-placed Essex club and, subject to a medical, the deal will go through today.
An Eastleigh club statement said: “Jamie made it clear that if the offer was acceptable to Eastleigh, he was keen to talk to Chelmsford on the basis they are a big club and only 20 minutes from his home.
“Whilst the offer is still slightly below our valuation, we are aware that, on a personal note for Jamie, it is an appealing move.
“Jamie has been a model professional during his time at the club and we would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his service and wish him well for the future.”
Just hours before Chelmsford came back with an improved bid, Eastleigh boss Ian Baird had declared that Slabber – scorer of 36 goals in nearly two seasons at the Silverlake – would remain a Spitfire.
But following a conversation with Clarets’ boss Glenn Pennyfather, Baird spoke to the 27-year-old former Spurs, Grays and Havant striker and it became obvious he wanted to go.
“I didn’t want to lose Jamie, but I asked him to tell me honestly what he wanted to do and he said that if it was acceptable to the club, he’d like to go,” said Baird. “Chelmsford are on Jamie’s doorstep and they need to strengthen because they’ve lost four of their last five games and Glenn’s under pressure to make the play-offs.”
Eastleigh’s play-off hopes are almost certainly dead following Saturday’s 3-2 home defeat by Dover.
But with joint club owners Stewart Donald and Neil Fox intent on mounting a major promotion push next term, there is still all to play for.
The tenth-placed Spitfires are at home to Tonbridge Angels tonight (7.45pm), but will not be at full strength. Michael Green has torn a hamstring, Danny Smith and Phil Appiah are suspended and Gary Elphick, Andy Forbes and Jamie Brown are all injury doubts.
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