JOHN Bailey has handed Brockenhurst a timely boost by hinting he could be prepared to start the new season with the ambitious Jewson Wessex League outfit.

The former Cherries star joined the Badgers for pre-season training earlier this month and lined up in their opening friendly against Yeovil Town on Saturday.

Brock boss Chris Collinge is convinced Bailey will receive offers from clubs higher up the non-league pyramid and is resigned to losing him before the season starts on August 18.

But Bailey, 32, who was forced to retire from the pro game due to a back injury, has not ruled out the possibility of staying with the Grigg Lane outfit on a longer term basis.

Bailey, who will definitely start tonight's friendly against Cherries (7.30pm), said: "I loved every minute of it against Yeovil and it was great to be back kicking a ball again.

"Everybody at Brockenhurst has made feel very welcome and I must admit I was surprised at the standard because it was much higher than I thought it would be.

"At the moment, I am not looking too far ahead and I am just taking one game at a time. I only played 40 minutes against Yeovil, but came through without any reaction.

"It's probably too early to say for definite, but I think that level could be my limit now. I wasn't even sure if I would get through on Saturday so I was delighted to play 40 minutes.

"I haven't really spoken to Brockenhurst about my future plans because I am just trying to get fit, but it's too early to say I won't be playing for them at the start of the season."

Bailey's appearance against Cherries is likely to boost the Grigg Lane crowd as the likeable Londoner was a big favourite with the Dean Court faithful.

Cherries boss Sean O'Driscoll will also run the rule over new trialists James Greenaway from Charlton and Graeme Mathie from Coventry City who are both central defenders.

O'Driscoll has also invited Republic of Ireland under-21 defender Barry Ferguson to spend another week with Cherries and he is also likely to feature against the Badgers.

However, fellow trialists James Dyson, Daniel Hall and Matt Gray have left Dean Court and are unlikely to be offered contracts in the near future.

O'Driscoll said: "I just felt Daniel Hall wasn't any better than the players we have got in the squad at the moment, while James Dyson himself felt he was not up to the standard required. We will keep tabs on Matt Gray and he could be invited back."

Richard Hughes and Steve Purches are both expected to be rested after picking up knocks at Lymington, while Jason Tindall could also sit out after sustaining a cut above his eye during a full-scale practice match on Saturday.