WINSFORD United chairman Mark Loveless has conceded that Blues are likely to lose promising top scorer Josh Hancock to neighbours Witton Albion this summer.
The teenage wide man found the net 16 times last term to help his team avoid relegation from the Vodkat North West Counties League’s Premier Division.
Now he is in line to step up a level.
“It’s disappointing because I feel Josh could have continued to develop here with us,” said Loveless.
“Another year here might have been better for him because I think there is a gap between our division and the Northern Premier League.
“I just hope he’s not made the move too early.”
Hancock’s contract with the Barton Stadium outfit, signed in December, ran out after the last league match earlier this month to leave him as a free agent.
The 19-year-old moved to Winsford from Nantwich Town’s juniors set-up when Tony Ledwards joined Blues’ management team last summer.
He stayed loyal to the club even after the latter’s exit following a disastrous run of form, making 50 starts in league and cup in total.
Witton has yet to announce his arrival, although manager Paul Ogden told the Guardian on Thursday that he expected the youngster to sign shortly.
Hancock was recommended to the new man at the helm at Wincham Park by chief scout Terry Murphy, who was briefly Blues’ boss at the start of last term.