CHARLIE GRIFFIN is hoping that today’s away game at Mangotsfield is not Jordan Stoddart’s final appearance for the club.

Centre back Stoddart, a fixture in Griffin’s line-up since his transfer from Bishops Cleeve in the summer, has been the subject of an approach from Worcester City who play a level lower, with sources close to the Midland League Premier Division club suggesting he could be on his way.

Griffin can ill afford to lose the uncompromising Worcester-based centre half who has been one of the shining lights in an inconsistent Cirencester side this campaign.

Midfielder and club captain Adam Connolly has been used – very successfully – as a makeshift centre back in the last three games and experienced central defender Matt Coupe this week opted to sign for fellow Southern League rivals Swindon Supermarine.

“Coupey is a very hardworking lad who came in at a tough time for the club last season and helped us along the way,” said Griffin.

“Matt has been a fantastic defender and I thank him for all his efforts but he lives near Supermarine and he knows I have been on the look-out for other centre halves.”

Griffin is expecting to get a definitive answer from transfer target Matt Bennett of Evesham United over the weekend.

On a positive note, Thom Jonkerman, 19, has come in on loan for a month because first choice keeper Matt Wieczorek’s ankle injury is taking longer to clear up than was first anticpated.

The highly-rated Dutchman, a former Arsenal triallist, was given a pro contract by Bristol Rovers in the summer.

“I know a lot of people at Rovers,” said Griffin, “and Steve Mildenhall for one thinks a lot of this lad.

“He did well at Mangotsfield on loan so he knows what this league is all about.

“Matt’s ankle seems to be getting worse not better at the moment and I could see him being out for three weeks.”